It’s no secret that severely dry or irritated eyes can be very uncomfortable. In many cases, an eye doctor will prescribe eye drops to help soothe a patient’s eyes and relieve any pain or discomfort. Before your eyes can heal, however, you must know the proper way to apply these drops. The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Remove the cap without touching the dropper tip.
- Tilting your head back slightly, use your index finger to gently pull your lower eye lid away from your eye to form a pocket.
- With your other hand, tilt the dropper over the pocket.
- While glancing upward, squeeze the bottle and release the correct number of drops into the pocket. Do not allow the bottle to touch either your eye or eyelid to avoid contamination.
- Once drops are in place, close your eyes without blinking.
- Apply pressure to “the point where your lids meet your nose” and hold for approximately two to three minutes, or as instructed by your eye doctor.
- Before opening your eyes, wipe any extraneous drops from your eye lid with a tissue.
- Open your eyes. If using more than one prescription, wait at least five minutes before applying the second dose.
The most important thing to remember is to follow your eye doctor’s instructions precisely. Ask an ophthalmologist on your vision plan if you have any questions regarding your use of eye drops or their possible side effects.