How to Apply Eye Drops

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Whether you need to apply ​eye drops to treat glaucomarelieve dry eyes​ or for other reasons, watch this video on the proper technique for using eye drops.

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  • If you have never used eye drops before, it may take just a bit of practice to get them into your eye, because the natural reflex is to blink to avoid the drops. The eye drop will be effective if it lands on either the eyeball, or in the pinkish inside surface of the lower lid. However, if the eye drop lands on the eyelid skin, or on the lashes, you will have to try again. Whenever possible, try to wash your hands before using eye drop medications. Eye drop installation is easiest if you either lie down or tilt your head back. If you are right-handed, use the thumb and the first two fingers of your right hand, to hold the inverted eye drop bottle. Hold the eyelids open by using your left index finger for the upper lid, and your right pinky finger for the lower lid. Hold the inverted bottle directly over your eye. Look at or slightly to the side of the bottle. Press the bottle lightly with your fingertips to cause one drop to come out. Without excessive squeezing, close the eye gently for a minute after instilling a drop. It is normal that some drops will sting. If more than one type of eye drop is prescribed, they can be used in any order, but should be taken at least 3 minutes apart, so that the eye has time to absorb each one completely. You need only one eye drop of medication for one dose. Don't worry if you accidentally apply several drops it won't harm the eye. If you think you missed your eye, it's okay to apply another drop. While you're first learning to use eye drops, you may want to refrigerate your eye drops. This makes it easier to tell whether the drop lands on the eyeball. Some people rely on a spouse or other family member, to help them with the eye drops. Even if you have the option, it's better if you learn to do it yourself, in case your helper isn't available.

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