Soft contact lenses (SCLs) can be inserted inside out with consequences for optical, mechanical, and on-eye comfort performance. Wearing lenses inside out may also cause corneal deformation especially with silicone hydrogel lenses. Since inside out insertion of SCLs cannot always be avoided, it is important to study their effects, and it may even be feasible to use these inside out forces to reshape the cornea. To study these possible scenarios, a finite element (FE) based model capable of simulating the inversion of soft contact lenses was developed and validated by comparing modeled results with laboratory measurements of lenses in right side and inside out conformations. In this study, the front surface contour of five SCLs (four commercially available and one custom design) was determined using a profile projector. The lenses were turned inside out, and the front surface contour was remeasured. The thickness profile obtained by a profilometer was “added” to the front surface shape in both orientations to derive the back surface shape. A detailed nonlinear 2D axisymmetric FE model of each lens in its right side in state was created, and the lens was inverted by applying a rigid probe. The modeled and measured inverted lens shapes were compared with respect to parameter alterations (sagittal depth (sag) and diameter) and overall geometry changes using a Procrustes analysis. Measured and modeled results revealed very substantial geometry changes when turning the lens inside out; however, the maximum sagittal deviation between measured and modeled inside out lens shapes was less than 0.05 mm over the central 6 mm half chord. Overall, the modeled results matched the inverted geometries for both parameter changes as well as overall shape changes. The developed FE model is able to predict the geometry of soft contact lenses when they are inverted.

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