What Are Eye Drops?
Eye drops are a sterile solution or suspension of medicine. They are used to produce a local effect directly on the eye.
How to Use Your Eye Drops
- If your eye drops are a suspension, the label will remind you to shake the bottle before using the drops.
- Wash your hands.
- Sit in front of a mirror so you can see what you are doing.
- Wipe your eyes with a clean tissue to clear any residual wateriness or discharge.
- Take the lid off the bottle.
- Tip your head back.
- Gently pull down your lower eyelid and look up.
- Hold the dropper or bottle above the eye and gently squeeze one drop onto the inside of the lower eyelid, taking care not to touch the eye or eyelashes with the dropper or bottle.
- Blink your eyes so the liquid spreads over the surface of the eyeball.
- Wipe away any excess liquid with a clean tissue.
- Repeat this procedure for the other eye if you have been advised to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
- Replace the lid of the bottle.
- Take care not to touch the tip of the bottle or dropper with your fingers. If the dropper is separate don’t put it down on any surface.
- If you have more than one drop to put in, or are using more than one type of eye drop, wait about five minutes before putting the next drop in. This ensures the second drop won’t wash away the first.
Other Useful Advice
- Some people find it easier to have someone else put their eye ointment in for them.
- Do not share your eye ointment with other people.
- If your vision is blurred after using your eye ointment, wait for it to clear before driving or using hazardous machinary.
- CONTACT LENSES if you normally wear contact lenses, don’t wear them while using eye ointment unless your doctor, pharmacist or optician has told you otherwise.
- STORAGE some (but not all) eye ointments need to be stored in the fridge. Check that you know where to store your eye ointment.
- EXPIRY never use your eye ointment after the expiry date, as it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria. Eye ointments containing a preservative should be thrown away four weeks after opening. Follow the printed instructions given with your ointment. Write the date you open your eye ointment on the tube so you know when to throw it away.
- Some people may find their eyes sting immediately after use. This will normally only be for a short time. If the irritation is severe or if the eye ointment seems to make your symptoms worse, discuss the matter with your doctor or pharmacist. If you notice anything unusual, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
- If you miss a dose of your eye ointment, apply the dose as soon as you remember, and then go on as before.
- Always use the ointment according to the printed label or as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you accidentally use more than you were supposed to.
- Once you have finished the treatment course, carefully dispose of any remaining ointment, or return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
- Eye ointments should only be used in the eyes and must not be taken by mouth.
- Follow directions carefully
- Do not miss doses
- Use the exact number of drops recommended
- Store medications out of reach of children
- Discard after 30 days