Have you been looking for a step-by-step guide on how to put in eye drops? Look no further because we have the answer. But before we get to that, you need to note a few things. One, not all eye drops are the same.
Some could be for a simple eye condition, like moisturizing eye drops. But some could be to treat bigger problems like glaucoma. Also, note that if you put the eye drops wrongly, you risk not getting enough medication as prescribed. On top of this, you can lose your vision if the drops aren’t applied properly.
That’s why knowing how to put in eye drops is important. Below is a list of five things to do to apply prescription eye drops properly.
#1. Follow Your Eye Doctor’s Instructions
Every prescription for eye drops usually comes with a note from the doctor. Your doctor would have listed a few things you must do when you get your eye drop bottle. That’s also why you must get a prescription before purchasing the drops. Most eye doctor notes list the following things:
- Tilt your head back, ensuring you look up as in the image displayed above.
- With one hand, gently pull your lower eyelid down. It’s always easier to do this with the corresponding hand of your eye. That is your left hand for your left eye.
- Pull your lower lid away from your eyeball until there’s a pocket for you to drop the liquid into.
- Using the other hand (in this case, your right hand) to hold the eye drop bottle. Hold the bottle upside down so that the dropper tip is right above your eye’s pocket.
- Give the eye drop bottle a gentle pressure, in the form of a squeeze, so that liquid can drop into your eye.
- Take note that one drop if that is what has been prescribed. However, if your doctor prescribes more than a single drop (two or three), you can allow extra drops from the bottle tip.
- After using the drops, close your eyelids and apply gentle pressure on your tear duct (the inner corner of your eye) for at least a minute to keep the drops from rolling back down.
- Also, if you have to apply a second eye drop, especially from another type of drop, wait for five minutes before reapplying.
But before you do all of the above, you need to take note of this:
#2. Wash your hands before using eye drops
It is important that you get rid of bacteria by washing your hands so as not to put them back into your eye. It is also important if you want to sabotage the full benefit of the drops in your eye.
So wash your hands with soap and water. Don’t forget to use a clean towel to dry your hands after washing. If you are not close to soap and water, you can use a hand sanitizer.
#3. Apply Eye Drops into your own eyes
Many people make the mistake of applying eye drops to contact lenses. This is not recommended. The eye medications were meant for your eye and not for contact lenses.
Not to mention that when you tilt your head back and pull your lower lid, you could be at risk of a misplaced contact lens in your eye. In the same way, don’t use eye drops prescribed for a family member in your eye.
Your eye condition is not just different, but it is not recommended. Just as you cannot use the same glasses or contact lenses, you cannot use the same eye drops.
#4. Close your eyes and press to distribute the eye drop.
We mentioned this earlier, but just so you know how important closed eyelids are, here it is. After you apply the first drop of the liquid; you should feel it draining back down from your eye and towards your nose. To prevent this from happening, it is better to close your eye and then press your eye gently at the inside corner near the bridge of your nose. This will keep most of the drops from sliding back down.
Some people advise blinking, but this is not effective. Blinking, in the actual sense, does the opposite of what you want to achieve. Also, note that you shouldn’t reapply a second drop just because some rolled off.
How long to close your eyes after eye drops?
You should close your eye for around one minute, and don’t forget the press routine at the inner corner of your eye.
#5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with other eye
Oops! We almost forgot about the right eye. So follow the steps again with the other eye. Remember to use your right hand to pull the lower eyelid and then hold the bottle with your left hand. Keep the dropper tip close to the eye pocket and squeeze gently. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands.