Posted by: juliegriffey | November 21, 2011

How do you tell if your contact lenses are inside out, and does it really matter?

My junior year of high school was the year I got my first pair of contact lenses. At the appointment, the ophthalmologist showed me how to put the lenses in my eyes and how to clean them. He also warned me that before I put my contacts in my eyes – I should make sure that they were not inside out.

How do you tell if your contacts are inside out? My doctor explained that the way you tell is if you pinch your contact – it should curl up like a taco and not be flared out around the edges. I still do the “taco test,” but I’m never exactly confident of the results. To me, especially with the lenses I wear now, the difference is too subtle.

It’s been a while since my junior year in high school and soft contact lens technology has evolved significantly so I am wondering if this advice is still relevant? Can your contacts still get turned inside out?

Recent on comments on the web suggest that – yes – there is an inside and an outside to your contact lenses. Some ways you can tell are:

1) If they are colored, the darker side should be on the outside.
2) When you look at your contact on your finger, it should not flare out on the edges.
3) If you put the contact lenses in your eye and
a. They are uncomfortable
b. They fall right out
c. Your vision does not seem to be corrected properly
d. You experience burning, stinging, tearing
You are probably wearing your contacts inside out.

So my next question is, if you do wear your contact lenses inside out, does it really make a difference? Some people say that when wearing your contacts inside out, your vision is not corrected properly. And, when wearing them inside-out, you can also potentially scratch your lid and cornea.

In an effort to get to the bottom of this, I contacted my go-to expert, my father-in-law, Dr. Tom.  He confirmed that if you wear your contact lenses inside out, you will not harm your eyes, but your vision will be a little blurry and you may experience some discomfort.



  1. If your soft contact lenses are wrong side out, instead of looking like a little bowl, they look more like a little saucer, and they are also darned uncomfortable. Some have little numbers on them too, so you should be able to read the numbers properly. Believe me, you know immediately if your contacts are in wrong.

  2. To check if soft contact lenses are inside out place a wet contact lens on a dry finger tip. When the finger and lens are both wet it is more difficult to tell, also flatter base curves are more difficult to check. Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear plus have a 123 indicator on the outer edge. Hold up to light to check. There is a picture on every box. We can print out a patient report from our computer on this. Other contqct lenses have markings as well. Barby Jewett Contact Lens Technician Optometry Center Los Angeles California

  3. For me, at least for me anyway. my colored lenses burn like hell
    either way they go in.

  4. I just started wearing contacts two weeks ago. I have the “Night and Day” 30 day lenses. When I put them on my finger, there is absolutly no lip or saucer look to them. People say if they are uncomfortable just take them out and put them in right. I’m still at the point where, if I can get them out at all, it takes about an hour for me to do it. I do have to go to work in the morning. My doctor said it is ok to wear these to sleep in for a week or so, but when I wake up, it feels like I have sleep in my eyes for the firs half of the day.

    I really wanted them to work. I wear them instead of reading glasses and the freedom is wonderful, but if I don’t get this straightened out in the next week, it will be back to the glasses.

    It seems like with today’s technology they would make it easier to tell if they are inside out.

  5. @Robert Graham may I suggest a Lens-eze Amcon stock # JM-6250 they work well on soft contact lens.

  6. Robert, may I suggest you use BLINK for contacts eye drops. I wear the same contacts you do. I have now for 4 years. I found that If I take them out before bedtime and clean them and put them back in, THEN use the BLINK drops just before I get into bed, it keeps my contacts and eyes moist while sleeping. THEN before I even put my feet on the floor, I reach and grab my BLINK and put a drop in each eye and just lay there for a second and blink a few times to moisturize the eye and contacts. When I started doing this, I woke up with clean contacts and moisturized eyes and ready to start my day without another thought to my contacts.

  7. Ohh I’ve been having the same trouble Robert has – I’ll try that solution too, thank you!

  8. Today is my 2nd day wearing mine. I have Air Optix monthlies and the dr wants me taking them out everyday for now till I get used to it and can actually get them in and out w/o it taking a few hours… Literally, it took me 3 hours in his office to be able to get one out and put it back in. That night, it took me 2 1/2 hours to get the right one(slight astigmatism) out. My eyes were sooooo bloodshot and irritated that I didn’t even try for 2 days. Now I’m nervous about taking them out tonight. It took me 30 minutes to get them in this morning… but I love them once they are in….

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