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Am I Wearing My Contacts Inside Out?

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

Right and wrong way of contact lens orientation
Who doesn't like tacos?

One of the hardest things for contact lens wearers to figure out: Are my lenses inside out? Modern lenses are so thin that it can be difficult to tell. If you're having trouble, here are some ways that you can make sure that your lenses are going into your eye the right way.


Method 1: The "Taco Test"

Gently squeeze the lens between your thumb and index finger, as if you are about to fold it in half.

If the edges of the lens curl inward or up like a hard-shell taco, the lens is correctly oriented. If the edges bend outward, the lens is inside out.


Method 2: Bowl or Saucer?

Balance the contact lens on the tip of your index finger and look at the lens profile from the side.

Does your lens look more like a mixing bowl (with the edges going upward)? Or like a saucer (with the edges flaring out)? If the lens looks more like a bowl, it is in the correct orientation. If the edges bend or flare slightly outward, it is inside out.


Method 3: Laser Markings

Some contact lenses laser markings to help you determine if your contact is inside out. This is not present on all brands, but you may find a "123" or "OK" etched near the edge of the lens.

To see the laser markings, place the lens on your fingertip and hold the lens up to a bright light. You should be looking at the outside surface of the lens from the side view.

  • If the "123" or other laser marking appears normally, the lens is the right side out, and you can place it on your eye.

  • If the "123" or other laser marking is backward, the lens is inside out.


With practice, you'll become better at being able to tell if your lenses are in their correct orientation.

If you are unsure of whether or not the lens is inside out, it typically feels a little bit uncomfortable when it's worn incorrectly, and may move around your eye more than usual. If you suspect that your lens was inserted improperly, remove it, rinse it with some multipurpose contact lens solution, and try inserting it again with the correct side up.


If you've never tried contact lenses and would like to give them a go, we recommend booking an exam with one of our doctors so that you learn how to safely use contact lenses, and end up with a proper fit for your eyes.

By Dr. Peter Chan, OD.


Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and answers to your frequently answered questions! In the meantime, if you haven’t had your eyes checked in a while, why not use our handy exam request form and make an appointment with one of our friendly optometrists?

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