Can Contacts be Inside Out? Yes, and Here’s Why!

Have you ever experienced a moment of panic as you put in your contact lenses, only to realize that the lens is inside out? Maybe you wonder if it is safe to wear the contacts in this position, or if it might cause damage to your eyes. Can contacts be inside out? The answer is yes, and there are some reasons behind it.

What Does it Mean for a Contact Lens to be Inside Out?

A contact lens is typically designed with a curve that follows the natural shape of the eye. When the lens is placed on the fingerpad, it should show a subtle curve or ‘cup’ shape. This cup should be oriented so that the top edge of the lens curves slightly outward, while the bottom edge curves slightly inward.

If however, the edge of the lens is oriented in the opposite direction, then it is inside out. The lens will still function but may not sit on the eye the way it is intended to. Wearing a lens inside out can lead to discomfort, blurry vision, and other discomforts.

Why Can Contacts be Worn Inside Out?

There are a few reasons why contact lenses can be worn inside out:

Manufacturing Errors:

It is possible that contacts can be inside out due to manufacturing errors. When a contact lens is produced, it should have a slight curvature in one direction. If the curvature is not quite right, or if the edges of the lens are too rounded, then it may be difficult to tell which way the lens is meant to be worn.

Human Errors:

Contacts can also be inside out due to human errors. Sometimes, when handling the contact lens, it can flip inside out. This often happens when people are cleaning, inserting or removing their lenses. This is why it’s important that one should always thoroughly examine the new lens when it’s been placed on the fingerpad, to avoid wearing the lens inside out by accident.

What Happens When You Wear a Contact Lens Inside Out?

It is absolutely safe to wear your contacts if you put them in inside out, but it may not be very comfortable. One possible sign that your lenses are flipped is discomfort or pain. Because the lens’ curvature doesn’t match the curve of the eye, the lens will be less stable and might move around more than usual. Uncomfortable lenses can cause dryness of the eye, but for most people, it should not cause any long-term issues.

How to Determine if Your Contact Lenses are Worn Inside Out?

There are a few ways to determine if your lenses are worn inside out, including:

Examining the Shape of the Contact Lens:

Place the contact lens on the tip of your finger and inspect its shape. If the edge of the lens has a subtle flare out and curl in the right orientation, it is facing the right way. When the edge flares inward while curling out, it is in the opposite position.

Examining the Lens Markings:

Manufacturers mark the contact lens box to show which side of the lenses should be facing up. This marking could be a simple number or letter, or it could be ‘L/R’ to show the left-right orientation. to check the markings, remove the lens from its container and inspect it for any form of marking.

Using an App:

There are mobile apps that can be used to identify the orientation of contact lenses. A few of these apps have a feature that will scan the lens while it’s on the fingerpad to determine orientation. Ensure to use only reputable apps.

Can You Put Contact Lenses in Inside Out on Purpose?

While it may seem like a bad idea to purposefully wear contacts inside out, some people prefer the way the lenses feel in this orientation. This is called reverse geometry contact lenses, and it’s designed for individuals with certain eye conditions that cause severe lens discomfort or who require a special fit. Reverse geometry lenses have a flatter curvature on the inner part of the lens and are fit inside out, allowing it to rest more comfortably on the eye.

Tips for Preventing Inside Out Contact Lenses

If you stick to these following guidelines, you can avoid putting contact lenses inside-out:

Wash hands:

Always wash hands with mild soap and clean water, then rinse thoroughly and dry your hands properly with a lint-free towel before handling your contact lenses.

Inspect Contact Lenses:

Examine the lenses every time you remove them from the case. If they are worn or damaged, it is time to invest in new ones. Ensure to examine the lens for markings that help identify the right way to wear it.

Follow Correct Insertion Process:

Always follow the correct insertion process when inserting your lenses. Always remember to verify the orientation of the lenses before placing it into your eye.

Get Fitted with the Right Lenses:

Make sure to seek the opinion of an optometrist when fitting for contact lenses to ensure that you’re using the right size, shape, and curvature avoid discomfort and unintentionally flipped lenses.

Always Check:

Checking does not necessarily take up much time, so always double-check! Especially if you are new to contact lenses.


In conclusion, yes, contacts can be inside out, but the answer isn’t as simple as it appears. With proper handling, the possibility of the lens turning the wrong way becomes less. If you follow the above tips and suggestions, you will be less likely to wear your contact lenses inside out.

Most Common Questions about Inside-Out Contact Lenses

  • What Happens When You Wear a Contact Lens Inside Out?
  • How Can You Tell if a Contact Lens is Inside Out?
  • Is it Bad to Wear Contacts Inside Out?
  • Can You Wear Contacts Inside Out On Purpose?
  • Do Inside Out Contact Lenses Affect Vision?

What Happens When You Wear a Contact Lens Inside Out?

Wearing a lens inside out can lead to discomfort, blurry vision, and other discomforts.

How Can You Tell if a Contact Lens is Inside Out?

You can tell if a contact lens is inside out by examining its shape, examining its markings, and even by using mobile apps.

Is it Bad to Wear Contacts Inside Out?

It is not bad to wear contacts inside out, it’s just not ideal. For your comfort and correct vision, it’s best to put in the contact lenses the right way

Can You Wear Contacts Inside Out On Purpose?

Yes, contact lenses can be worn inside out on purpose, specially made for conditions that cause discomfort or requires special fitting. It’s called reverse geometry contact lens.

Do Inside Out Contact Lenses Affect Vision?

Wearing contacts inside out doesn’t affect vision, but it will probably cause a bit of discomfort.

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