Can I Wear My Left Contact Lens on My Right Eye? By Gordon Wong, OD on November 30, 2023

individual putting on a contact lensContact lenses are discreet and convenient, making them a popular form of vision correction. People often wonder if contact lenses are interchangeable, or more specifically, “Can I wear my left contact lens on my right eye?”

Usually, it is easy to wear contact lenses as directed, but if a contact lens is lost or there is a simple mix-up, will wearing a contact lens in the wrong eye cause damage? Here, optometrists at GW Eye Associates, who serve La Jolla, CA, Carmel Valley, CA, San DiegoCA, and surrounding areas, discuss what happens if a person switches their right and left contact lenses.

Are My Contact Lenses the Same?

When addressing whether or not it is acceptable to wear a left contact lens on the right eye, the first consideration is whether or not the contact lenses are the same. It is highly common for people to have different vision prescription needs in each eye. The eyes may have different types of refractive errors or the degree of the refractive error may differ between eyes. Individuals should understand their vision prescriptions and must be aware if they have different vision prescriptions for each eye. 

Even if a person has the same vision prescription for each eye, their right and left contact lenses may not be exactly the same. Since contact lenses sit directly on the eye, they are not only customized for vision prescription needs but also for fit needs.

During a contact lens fitting, we carefully measure the eye surface and pupil to determine the curvature of the eye and select a contact lens that will fit comfortably and securely. Just as it is common for eyes to have different visual needs, it is not unusual for the eyes to be shaped or sized differently, meaning the contact lenses for the left and right eye will differ slightly.

What Happens if I Switch My Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses often have small markings indicating they are for the left eye or right eye. However, if a person has the same vision prescription in each eye and eye measurements are the same, the contact lenses are the same. When the right and left contact lenses are identical, wearing a left contact lens on the right eye is not a problem. 

If there are minor differences in the measurement of the two eyes, a left contact lens can still safely be worn on the right eye as a quick solution for a missing contact lens. Even when there are only minor differences between the lenses, we do not recommend wearing the incorrect lens long-term.

When vision prescriptions between two eyes are different or there are significant differences in the eyes’ shape and curvature, wearing the wrong contact lens can cause complications, which may include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Individuals with significantly different left and right contact lenses should not interchange them.

Contact GW Eye Associates

Contact lenses are a discreet and effective solution for vision impairment. If you are considering switching to contact lenses or are due for a comprehensive eye exam, the optometrists at GW Eye Associates are here to help. To schedule an appointment, contact our office online.

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GW Eye Associates

Our team at GW Eye Associates in La Jolla and Del Mar can provide a wide range of high-quality eye care services. Dr. Gordon G. Wong and Dr. Wildon C. Wong have over 45 years of combined experience and belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Optometric Association
  • NVISION

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call us at (858) 454-4699 today.

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