Eye Drops are liquid drops that are topically instilled directly to the surface of the eye, usually in small amounts either in single or multiple drops. They may contain one or more medications used to treat a wide variety of eye diseases and inflammation.
Depending on the condition being treated, eye drops may contain antihistamines, antibiotics, steroids, antifungal, beta-receptor blockers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), etc. Eye Drops have less of risk of developing side effects than oral medications. The risk can be minimised by occluding the lacrimal punctum (a tiny opening in the lower lid of our eyes towards the nose) for a while after the instillation of eye drops.
INSTILLATION OF EYE DROPS
No matter your reason(s) for using an eye drop, it is very important to know how to instill them properly.
Following the proper techniques or instructions helps the medication absorb into the eyes well, so the eye drop can carry out its specific work effectively with good results.
Note that some eye drops cause a bitter taste in the mouth when they are drained into the eyes.
Below are step-to-step instructions on how to use the eye drops properly and effectively. These instructions can help you put eye drops into your own eyes. If you’re a parent or caregiver, these steps can also help you instill drops for another person. If you encounter any difficulties putting eye drops into your own eyes, ask a family member or friend to help you.
- Gather your supplies: these include the bottle of eye drops as well as a tissue or other clothes to wipe away excess drops.
- Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel or a paper towel. If soap and water aren’t available, you can use hand sanitizer instead.
If directed on the label or by your doctor gently shake the bottle.
Remove the cap from the bottle and place it on its side on a clean surface.
Check the dropper tip to make sure it’s clean. If it’s dirty, throw the bottle of drops away and get a new one.
Instilling the drops
- Tilt your head back or lie down flat on your back. Pull your lower eyelid down with your finger to form a pouch or pocket where the eye drop will go.Hold the bottle over your eye, with the dropper tip facing down. The dropper tip should be as close to your eye as possible without touching your eye. You can support the hand that’s holding the bottle by resting your wrist against your forehead.
Look up. Squeeze the bottle so that a single drop falls into the pouch you made with your lower eyelid.
- Close your eye gently and tilt your face toward the floor for two to three minutes. Try to avoid blinking, moving your eyeball, or squeezing your eyelids tightly shut.
- While your eye is closed, use one finger to apply gentle pressure to the inside corner of the eye. This stops the medication from draining into your nasal passages and getting into your mouth or throat
Use a tissue or other cloth to wipe away any excess liquid from around your eyes.
- If you need to put a second eye drop into the same eye, wait at least five to 10 minutes after putting in the first drop.
- Put the cap back on the bottle. Don’t touch the dropper tip or try to clean it.
- Wash your hands to remove any medication that got on them.
- Store the bottle as described on the label or by your doctor or pharmacist.
- Do not share eye drops with another person.
- Do not allow the dropper tip to touch your eye or any other surface.
- Do not wear contact lenses while instilling eye drops.
This rule is given to avoid microbial contamination. Your eyes, skin, fingers etc. all carry the tiniest amount of bacteria every time they come in contact with the opening of the eye drop container.
Eye Drops have preservatives in them example Benzalkonium chloride designed to inhibit microbial growth inside the liquid. ONE MONTH is a general rule of how long the eye drop inside can stay relatively free of microbes once the eye drop container is opened.