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How to administer eye drops

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Improper use of eye drops is a common problem. The full benefit of the medication may not be realized if the eye drops are administered incorrectly. If the eye drops do not fall directly onto the eye then they may go waste by way of either rolling down the cheek or draining down the tear duct.  

Follow the simple steps below to administer the eye drops effectively.   

1. Wash hands with soap and warm water, and dry them before administering the eye drops.

2. Shake the bottle gently if the label indicates so. 

3. Warm the bottle by rolling between the hands to bring the contents to room temperature, if the bottle has been refrigerated. 

4. Using a damp cotton swab, clean the eyelids if they are crusty with discharge, by wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner with the eye closed.

5. Softly squeeze and pull the lower eyelid downward to form a pocket using the thumb and index finger, after tilting the head backwards. If lying down, look upwards and similarly form the pocket in the lower lid. 

6. Put a drop of medication into the pocket created in the lower lid. Do not put the drops directly into the eye. Make sure that the dropper does not touch the eye or the lid. 

7. Close the eye slowly. Softly press the inner corner of the eye with the index finger. Keep the eye closed for 2 to 3 minutes to let the medication get absorbed. 

8. Before administering one more drop of eye medication, if recommended, wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes so that the first drop is not be washed out of the eye or into the tear duct. 

9. Affix the cap back securely, and store the medicine in a cool and dry place. Do not wipe or rinse the tip of the dropper to avoid contamination. If refrigeration is recommended for the medicine, please do so. 

10. Wash hands with soap and warm water.


Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: July 23, 2014