When you’re trying to combat dry eye, eye allergies, or eye infections, it’s likely you’ll use some sort of over-the-counter or prescribed eye drop solution to treat your ailment. To properly use the drops, you should follow the steps below.
- Wash your hands—this will prevent new bacteria from getting into your eye.
- Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling.
- Gently pull your lower eyelid down so that it forms a small pocket.
- Turn your eye drop solution bottle upside-down and squeeze its bottom to release a single drop into your eye. If you missed your eye on the first try, go ahead and squeeze a second drop. (It’s important that you don’t touch your eye or eyelid with the nozzle of the bottle.)
- Release your lower eyelid and gently close your eye for 30 seconds. Dab any excess medication with a tissue.
- If you need to apply another type of eye drop medication, make sure you wait 3 to 5 minutes before doing so. This lets you get the maximum effect from each medication.
- When you’re done, immediately put the cap back on your eye drop solution.
There are some other things to keep in mind when it comes to eye drops. First, don’t share your medication with others, as you can easily spread infections. And if you need to use an eye drop as well as an ointment for treatment, always use your eye drops first and wait five minutes to apply the ointment. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to stop wearing your lenses until your treatment is finished or follow your eye doctor’s instructions.
And finally, some eye drops can enter the blood stream very quickly and cause side effects. To counteract this, you can slow the eye drop absorption by pressing your index finger where your lower lid meets your nose.