Eye drops can be essential in healing your eyes after surgery or infection and preserving your sight if you have chronic eye disease. To get the greatest benefit from eye drops, you must use them properly.
Each time you miss your eye when putting in expensive prescription eye drops, you are throwing money down the drain. Also, if the drops are dripping out of your eye they are not providing the sight preserving medicinal benefit intended.
If you are having difficulty administering your eye drops, you can practice with over-the-counter preservative-free artificial tears for mild dry eyes. Using a preservative-free formula eliminates the risk of you being allergic to preservatives found in many artificial tears.
If you have been prescribed more than one type of medicated eye drop, wait at least five minutes to put the additional drop in the same eye. This will allow the first medication to be fully absorbed and help prevent both medications from dripping out of the eye. If your physician has recommended both a prescription eye drop and over-the-counter lubricating eye drop on the same eye, administer the prescription drop first.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry your hands with a clean towel.
- Check to see if your eyes have crusting or drainage. If they do, close your eyes and gently wash or wipe the outside of your eyelids with a clean wet cotton ball.
- If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them. The only exception is if you are using eye drops that are specifically formulated to remoisten your contacts or if your doctor advised you to administer drops with your contacts in.
- Shake the eye drops container gently. Be sure to use only the eye drops prescribed for you. Always check the container to be sure that it is the right drug, right number of drops, and the correct schedule (when you should put in your drops).
- Remove the cap of the eye drop bottle. Place the dropper cap on its side and rest it on a clean tissue. Do not touch the dropper tip with your hand or any object to avoid contaminating the drops in the bottle with bacteria and other organisms.
- Either lie down or tilt your head back and look up at the ceiling. Concentrate on a point on the ceiling, keeping your eye wide open.
- Place one or two fingers on your face about an inch below your eye; gently pull down to create a pocket between your lower eyelid and your eyeball.
- Use your other hand to hold the eye drop bottle, pointing the tip downward. Resting your hand on your forehead may help steady it.
- Hold the bottle close to your eye (about an inch away). Be careful not to let the dropper touch your eye or eyelashes to avoid contaminating the drops in the bottle with bacteria and other organisms.
- Squeeze the bottle lightly to allow the drop to fall into the pocket inside your lower lid.
- Remove your hands from your face, gently close your eyes and tilt your head down for a few seconds. Try not to squeeze or blink your eyes after putting in drops. This can force some of the drop out of your eye before it has had a chance to be absorbed.
- To keep as much of the drop on your eye as possible, press lightly on the inner corner of your eyelid, next to your nose. A small duct that drains tears away from your eye and into your nose is located here. By pressing at this point, you close the opening of this drainage duct, allowing the eye drop to remain on the surface of your eye longer. This technique also minimizes the funny taste you may get in your mouth after applying certain eye drops.
- Use a clean tissue to absorb and wipe away any drops that spill out of your eye and onto your eyelids and face.
- If you are using eye drops on both eyes, repeat this procedure for the second eye. Use a clean, separate tissue to blot excess drops from each eye.
- Replace the cap of the bottle and screw it on securely. Never wipe the dropper tip with anything, to avoid contaminating the drops.