How To Put In Eye Drops?: Everything You Need To Know

There can be a number of reasons that you are in dire need of putting eye drops. Common reasons are due to itchy eyes, redness in the eyes, irritation in the eyes and less amounts of lubrication in the eyes. These are all symptoms of various types of eye infections. Some of these eye infections may ring a bell in your head – Glaucoma, Corneal Abrasion, Conjunctivitis, Stys, Trichiasis, Blepharitis, Restricted air ducts, Dry Eye Syndrome, etc. In fact, something as basic as an external particle entering the eyes can also lead to the above-mentioned symptoms. When a person is diagnosed with any of these conditions, they tend to face major discomfort in their eyes. 

Rather than waiting for the immune system to fight off the infection, the victim can opt for medication. Medication for any kind of eye infection or eye irritation is of liquid form. In fact, these medicines are sold in vials and are known as eye-drops. Consuming medicines or injections will not do half an effective job as pouring in eye drops can do. Expect to alleviate your eye infection symptoms within 7 days of putting eye drops.

You must be wondering ‘How am I suppose to be putting in eye drops?’, ‘How many drops of the liquid should I put?’, ‘How often should I put eye drops?’, ‘Is there any right or wrong way to put in eye drops?’. Do not worry, it’s a fairly simple procedure and by the time you are done reading this article, you would be knowing all about the eye drops application procedure. 

Things you must do:

  • When excess drops flow onto the face and skin around your eyeballs, you must know that it is normal for that to happen. The medicine has entered the affected area and no more of it needs to be applied.
  • Make sure you are aware of how long can a vial be used once it is open. If the expiration date is not visible, opt for a new vial to ensure the safety of your eyes.
  • If you have been prescribed with two types of eye medications then always use the eye solution first. Eye suspensions or eye ointments are prescribed, always use them second. Remember to use the ointment at least 10 minutes after the eye solution.

Things you must avoid: 

  • Never share your eye drops with another person. If the vial has touched either of your eyes then there is a high probability of the transfer of harmful germs and other infections.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses for up to 15 to 20 minutes after infusing your eyes with the eye drops, unless you are using moisturizing eye drops. 
  • Make sure the tip of the vial from where eye drops are falling does not touch any other surface neither your eye. Because any germs and bacteria from external surfaces can easily be transferred to the eyes.

Following the points mentioned below will equip you with a step-by-step guide to put eye drops: 

  • Get your eye drops container, a towel, and some hand soap. Wash your hands with soap and excess water to get rid of germs, if any. Dry your hands with the towel once you are done.
  • Only if the bottle mentions ‘Shake before use’, you must shake the bottle. Do not do this aggressively.
  • If the tip of the dropper on the vial is dirty then dispose of this vial and purchase a new clean one from the pharmacy.
  • Now, you that your hands and vial are clean, you can start the application process. Either lay on your back or tilt your head upwards. Pull down your lower eyelid with any finger you find comfortable. Pull it down to an extent that a pouch-like shape is visible. 
  • Lift the bottle above this pouch with the dropper facing in a downward direction. If you are finding it hard to stabilize then support your wrist on the forehead.
  • Look upwards and now squeeze the bottle gently such that one single drop falls into the pouch.
  • Gently close your eyes and look in a downward direction for up to a minute. Do not rub, blink, open, close your eyes hard or even move your eyeballs.
  • Finally, you can use a finger and put mild pressure on the lower corner of the eye, near the nose. This ensures that the drops do not leak into your nasal passage. 

Is holding onto the bottle a task for you?

Some people need an additional person to help them in putting the eye drops due to the patient finding the bottle too small to hold. If you are one of these people, then consider wrapping a napkin, tissue or cloth around the bottle so that it becomes wider. This can make it easier to hold to the bottle. There are also multiple assertive devices that help you direct the drops towards the eye, squeeze the bottle or even keep the eye open. 

What if you require putting two drops?

Depending on the type and severity of the eye infection, doctors may suggest putting in 2 drops in the eye. In these situations, never apply both the drops together or in quick succession as the chances of the eye drops spilling out is high. This reduces the healing effect that the drops are supposed to have on your eyes. 

The correct way is to wait for a few minutes and let them first settle. Spread and get soaked by the eyes. Once the drop is completely absorbed and more space is present, you can put in the second drop.

You can always practice using artificial tears

If you have been consistently putting eye drops the wrong way, leading to the ineffectiveness of the medicine, then you must opt for practicing the technique with artificial tears. Head to the pharmaceutical store and buy a vial of artificial tears. To eradicate all risks of catching any allergic reaction due to preservatives, you must ensure you are purchasing a preservative-free artificial tear formula. Make sure that the type of artificial tears you buy consists of thick drops and is not been manufactured for severely dry eyes, as this can lead to temporary blurriness in vision.

When you practice, focus on keeping the vial at a safe distance from the eyes and also focus on aiming the drops in the pouch of your lower eye for achieving maximum effectiveness. 

Would you like a bonus piece of advice? It is always a wise choice to keep a couple of artificial tear vials that are preservative-free. This proves to be helpful in times when your eyes are drying up due to excessive viewing of computer and smartphone screens. A little relief is always better than constantly rubbing your eyes in a desperate attempt to achieve comfort.