Precautions when using Eye drops
Eye drops can be used to treat a wide range of eye conditions such as an infection, an allergy, a minor eye injury, to relieve dry or red eyes, for post-operative healing or in chronic conditions like glaucoma. No matter your reason for using eye drops, or for how long you are using them, it is important to use them correctly so that the medication is properly absorbed into your eye.
Here are some precautions to follow when using eye drops
- Check the expiration date on the label before using any eye drops.
- Do not pierce the nozzle/dropper of the bottle with a pin to open it. Use the instructions given on the label/carton to open the bottle properly, without contaminating the contents.
- Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel before using the eye drops.
- Shake the bottle before opening it, if directed to do so on the label or by your doctor.
- After opening the bottle, place the cap on its side on a clean surface.
- Avoid touching the tip of the bottle with your fingers.
- Tilt your head backward (while sitting, standing, or lying down) and gently pull down on the lower eyelid with your finger to form a pocket.
- Squeeze the bottle lightly to instil one drop inside the lower lid. The eyelid can hold only one drop, so any excess will seep out of the eye. Wipe away the excess fluid that comes out of your eye with a clean tissue.
- Do not let the tip of the dropper touch any part of your eye or eyelashes as the eye drops can get contaminated by bacteria and other organisms.
- Close your eyes gently after instilling the eye drop. Do not squeeze the lids closed or blink as this can force the drop out of your eye before it has had a chance to be absorbed.
- Apply gentle pressure on the inner corner of your eye using the tip of your index finger for 30 seconds. This will prevent the fluid from draining into your nose and throat through the nasal passage.
- Remove your contact lens before using medicated eye drops, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Wait for 15 minutes after using the eye drops and then put on your contact lens.
- If you are using more than one type of eye drop, wait for ten minutes after the first drop and then put in the second drop. This will prevent the first drop from being washed out by the second before it has had time to work.
- Do not wipe the dropper tip with anything, as this may contaminate the drops. Replace the cap of the eye drops and screw it on securely immediately after use.
- Wash your hands to remove any residual medication.
- Do not share your eye drops with other people as this could spread germs and infection.
- Store the bottle as instructed on the label or by your doctor or pharmacist.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist about how long you can use the eye drops safely once the bottle is opened.