How to use eye drops properly

how to use eye drops properly

Putting in eye drops can be a tricky thing to do on your own or even if someone is doing it for you.  Most of us have a natural aversion to things coming towards our eyes!  Read on for the correct use of eye drops and some tips.

Eye drop use

Step 1 Wash hands well with soap and water and dry.

Step 2 Lying down on your back to put an eye drop in is easier for some people otherwise tilt your head right back.

Step 3 Pull your lower lid out and down to make a little pocket to drop into.

Step 4 Bring the bottle over the top of your eye keeping it vertical.  Squeeze the bottle until you feel the drop land.

Step 5 Gently close your eye and leave it closed for one minute.

Step 6 Using your pointer finger apply gentle pressure to the inside corner of your eye lid near your nose.  You may feel the drainage duct being closed off when you do this.  Do this for one minute then repeat from Step 2 for the other eye if needed.  This step is important to prevent the eye drop from leaving the eye and running down the back of the nose.  If you have ever used an eye drop and then tasted it this is why.  If the drop leaves the eye it is not able to work.

Tips

The eye can only hold one drop at a time and as long as the first drop lands in your eye there is no need to use a second drop.  Sometimes directions say to use 1-2 drops but only one drop is needed.  If the first drop misses the eye by all means repeat the steps to get it in.

Don’t touch the eye drop bottle on to your eye.  This is to prevent bacteria getting on to the bottle.

If you need to use more than one eye drop wait five minutes between instilling one and using the next.  This allows the first one to be able to have its effect and not be washed out by the following drop.

Most eye drops should be discarded one month after opening with the exception of some lubricating drops that state they can be kept for 6 months.  This is because the drops are not sterile after this time and can cause an infection if used beyond this time.  I have seen a nasty eye infection caused by using eye drops that had been open for 7 years!!

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