7 Steps to Putting Drops in Your Eyes the Right Way
Spending the day at the beach can be relaxing for the body but hard on the eyes. As our Kelowna optometrists can attest, even if you aren’t visiting the beach, a day in the Okanagan heat can leave you with dry eyes and reaching for the eye drops.
If you are using drops for dry eyes, or to treat a condition, you may be applying drops multiple times in a day, but there’s more than one way to do it, and not everyone knows how to do it properly. Here are seven steps on how to apply.
1. Make sure your hands are clean. It’s best to wash them with soap and water and dry with a clean towel. Paper towel is not recommended as it can leave paper towel ‘fuzzies’ on your fingers.
2. When taking the cap off the drops, take care not to touch the tip. This helps keep the tip clean and free of contaminants.
3. Tilt your head back. It helps to focus on something high—like a ceiling fan or a shower bar—to keep your eye still and looking up.
4. Using one or two fingers, gently pull down below your eye. This pulls your bottom eyelid away from the eyeball and creates a pocket for the drops.
With the other hand, hold the bottle pointing the tip downwards. Resting your hand against the forehead will help keep it steady.
5. Holding the bottle 1 centimetre away from your eye, gently squeeze a drop into the bottom of the lid.
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.
6. 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 drop out of your eye before it has had a chance to be absorbed.
7. Press lightly on the inner corner of your eyelid, next to your nose. This will keep as much of the drop on your eye as possible, and lessens the funny taste you may get in your mouth after applying drops. There is a small duct that drains tears away from your eye and into your nose. By pressing at this point, you close down the opening of this drainage duct while the drops are being absorbed.
Now you can repeat this procedure for the second eye.
Are you using more than one drop?
Sometimes, you may be prescribed more than one type of medicated eye drop. If you apply the drops too quickly in succession, they may not be absorbed properly, reducing their effect.
If you are putting a second eye drop in the same eye, wait at least five minutes. This will give time for the first drop to be fully absorbed.
If you use both a medicated eye drop and a lubricating eye drop on the same eye, many Kelowna optometrists prefer that you start with the prescription (medicinal) eye drop first, and save over-the-counter products, such as artificial tears, for later.
Is this a persistent problem?
Dry Eye Syndrome is a complex condition that, in extreme cases, can significantly decrease quality of life for some people. Find out how an optometrist can help you in our post Optometrist, Opthamologist or Optician: What’s the Difference?
Are you suffering from dry eyes? The Kelowna optometrists at Sun Valley Optometry investigate what’s really causing your dry eyes to help improve your eye health long-term. Book your appointment.