Putting a drop of solution into the eyes seems like a simple thing to do. That is until you have to do it! Eye drops are often used to treat a wide variety of eye conditions and diseases. Glaucoma, dry eye and certain eye infections, are just a few examples where drops may be used for treatment. In many cases, eye drops are essential in the preservation of ones eye sight and eye health. Therefore, it is important when using eye drops, that you know how to put them into your eyes correctly!
Inserting Eye Drops In 10 Easy Steps
To get the greatest benefit from drops that needed to be inserted into the eyes, a person must know the do and don’ts of inserting them properly. Often, your eye doctor or pharmacist may give you specific directions, but in most cases the proper technique is the same.
Failing to learn the correct technique of putting in a drop into the eyes, can defeat the purpose of using them. Not to mention that not abiding by proper hygienic techniques can also lead to future eye infections.
Step By Step Approach to Using Eye Drops
Step 1: Wash Your Hands!
The first, most important step is to wash your hands! Make sure to wash your hands really well with soap and water. Then dry them completely with a clean towel. Failure to properly wash your hands can possibly result in eye infections.
Step 2: Remove Contact Lenses (skip this step if you are not a contact lenses wearer)
If you are a contact lens wearer, you may need to remove your contacts before inserting the drops. This step is dependant on what the drops are needed for. Some drops made to help with dry eyes are specially formulated to be inserted while wearing contact lenses. However, the majority of drops should be used while contact lenses are out.
For some medications, contact lenses should not be put into the eyes for a certain amount of time, after putting in the eye drops. Before using any eye drops with contact lens wear, consult with your optometrist or pharmacist.
Step 3: Remove The Dropper Cap
Remove the cap from your eye drops. Make sure the tip of the dropper is not damaged or cracked. Do not touch the tip of the dropper. Also make sure you put the cap to the dropper in a clean and dry area, so it does not become contaminated with debris or bacteria.
Step 4: Tilt Your Head
Tilt your head back and look up at the ceiling. Concentrating on a point on the ceiling makes it easier to put the drop in. Also Keep both eyes open.
Step 5: Hold Your Eyes
Place one or two fingers on your face (approximately 1 inch apart) below the eye. Gently pull down to create a pocket between your lower eyelid and your eyeball.
Step 6: Hold and Position The Eye Dropper
Using the other hand, hold the eye drop bottle pointing downwards. Hold the bottle approximately 1 inch away from your eye. Be careful no to touch the tip of the dropper to your eye or eyelashes. If you do touch the bottle to a part of your eye, this can introduce bacteria to the bottle. Which can later cause an eye infection.
Step 7: Instil the Drop
Gently squeeze the bottle to instal 1 drop into the pocket you’ve created between your eyeball and lower lid. Remove your hands from your face. Gently close your eyelids and try not to blink for a few seconds. Blinking can force the drops from the eyes before your eyes have had a chance to absorb them.
Step 8: Help Keep The Drops In the Eyes
Gently press the inside corner of your eye lid, the area next to your nose. This will keep as much of the liquid drop as possible, from draining from your eye into your tear duct.
Step 9: Dry Your Eyes
Using a clean tissue, wipe away any fluid from the eye drops that may have spilled out of the eyes onto the face or cheeks.
Step 10: Secure The Bottle Cap & Store Your Eye Drop Bottle
Replace the cap onto the bottle. Make sure that it is screwed on securely. Most drops should be stored in cool dry place. However, it is best to read the instructions on the bottle, to see how the manufacturer recommends to store the drops.
If you have any questions regarding your eye health, eye drops or eye medication, make sure you consult with your optometrist of pharmacist!
Article Written By: Karen McAulay