Eye drops are used to treat a wide variety of conditions – from glaucoma and eye infections to allergies and dry eyes. In many cases, eye drops are essential to preserving your vision and protecting your eyes. Your eye doctor or chemist may give you instructions that are specific to particular prescription eye drops. But in most cases, the proper technique for applying eye drops is the same, whether you are using prescription or over-the-counter formulas.
To get the greatest benefit from eye drops, you must use them properly. Whether you need one drop per day or ten, there’s a right way and a wrong way to put eye drops in your eyes. Failing to learn how to correctly put drops in your eyes can completely defeat the purpose of having them. Here are some tips.
The step-by-step approach to putting in eye drops
- Wash your hands with soap and water; then dry them with a clean towel.
- If you are wearing contact lenses remove them. The exception to this is if you are using eye drops that are specifically formulated to re-moisten your contacts or if your doctor advised you to use the drops in this manner.
- 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 1 or 2 fingers on your face about an inch below your eye; gently pull down to create a pocket between your lower eyelid and your eyeball. 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 since this can introduce bacteria and other organisms into the eye drops in the bottle.
- Squeeze lightly to instill one drop 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 blink, as this can force some of the solutions out of your eye before it has had a chance to be absorbed.
- 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.
- Finally, wash your hands to rinse away any stray eye drops.
To help your eye drops benefit you to their full potential, follow these instructions and any directions from the eye drop label or your doctor/chemist. These steps should help you use your prescription or over-the-counter eye drops easily and safely. However, if you still have any questions or concerns about using your eye drops correctly, never hesitate to ask your doctor or chemist.
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