Q. Sally asks: I read your article about why eyes may get smaller as we age. Can you explain how I should insert and remove my contact lenses?
A. The best way to insert soft contact lenses is to place them without stretching the eyelids. The best way to do this is as follows: Place the contact near the tip of your index finger. Make sure it's not too wet - this will allow it to grab onto your eye and not stick on your fingertip when you're trying to insert it. Get in front of a mirror and brace your third or fourth finger on your cheek without pulling down on your eyelid.
Tuck your chin down while looking up into the mirror so you've exposed as much white at the lower part of your eye as possible. Let the contact touch the lower part of the eye and as soon as it "grabs" look up as high as you can (you won't be able to see yourself at this point) and roll your fingertip up slightly to allow the top of the contact to seal onto your eye. It's really easy once you get the hang of it, and it's not that much different than the way people normally insert CL's.
To remove the contact, place the sides of the pads of your fourth fingers together, place them over your contact, and then pinch the pads together a bit to break the seal of the contact with your eye. This way, you can put them in and take them out day after day and year after year without ending up with a saggy lower lid margin down the road.
Q. Sally also noted that her eyes seemed smaller since she began wearing contact lenses about a year ago. Here was my reply:
A. If your eyes seem smaller since you began wearing contact lenses, it may be that the eyes are a little dry. When the eyes are dry we sometimes squint a bit in an unconscious effort to reduce their exposure to the air. If that's the case, you may want to try a contact lens solution that is moisturizing. Opti-Free Replenish is a great solution (no pun intended) for the drying effects of contact lenses. Other than that, contacts should have no effect on the size of your eyes.