A person using eye drops

How to Properly Use Eye Drops

Whether you want to use over-the-counter eye drops to help with dryness, allergies, redness or irritation, or if you’ve been prescribed eye drops by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to treat conditions like glaucoma, dry eye, infections or inflammation, it’s important to properly administer your eye drops for the best results. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of every drop!

Check the label first

Before using your eye drops, make sure you are using the correct bottle (sometimes ear drops or other products are in similar small containers); mix-ups can be hazardous. You also want to check the expiration date. If your eye drops have expired, throw them away and get a new bottle.

Remove your contacts

Sometimes people forget to remove their contacts before applying eye drops, or they don’t realize they should take them out first. Contact lenses will prevent the drops from coating your eye properly, reduce effectiveness, and waste your drops. Also, leave your contacts out for at least 20 minutes after application, so the medication has the chance to be absorbed and does not leave a film or residue on your contacts.

Apply your eye drops

Remove the cap from your eye drops, and set a clean tissue nearby to prepare. Wash your hands thoroughly. Tilt your face slightly and look up towards the ceiling. With one hand, gently pull your lower lash line away from your eye, forming a little pocket. With the other hand, gently squeeze the bottle and allow the eye drop to fall into your eye. If you miss your target, you can use the tissue to catch any drips. If you have an unsteady hand or have trouble administering eye drops, you can enlist a spouse or family member to help, and have them apply the drops when you are lying down.

Don’t let the tip of the eye drop bottle touch your eye

Be sure to keep the eye drop bottle far enough back from your eye that the tip doesn’t touch your lashes, eyelid, or the surface of the eye. This can transfer germs to bottle which could cause or spread an infection.

Space out your drops

Your eye can’t hold more than one drop at a time, so if you apply multiple drops at once, the medicine will just flow out of your eye and down your face. To prevent wasting medicine, if you are supposed to apply more than one drop, wait at least five minutes before putting in the second drop. That will give it time to absorb. We also recommend waiting at least five minutes between drops of different medications.

Gently blink

Finally, once the eye drops have been instilled, gently blink your eye to spread the drop around. Don’t blink too rapidly or vigorously though; this may have the unintended effect of pushing the drop out of your eye.

Come see us

If you are using prescribed eye drops, be sure to use them exactly as your eye doctor has prescribed and don’t skip any doses and don’t overuse. And if you are using OTC eye drops, and your eye issues continue to be a problem, make an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist to ensure that nothing more serious is going on. In either case, if your eye symptoms are getting worse, or you are experiencing pain or irritation, it’s time to see a professional.

Tyson Eye is regarded as one of the premier eye care centers in Southwest Florida. Our surgeons and doctors have helped thousands of Floridians enjoy better vision and have consistently introduced break-through technology to the area. We are committed to excellence by delivering modern technology with old fashioned concern. Call us at 239-542-2020 or request an appointment today!

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