Eye Matters
September 13, 2011
Proper use of eye drops

Dear Readers,

It has come to my attention that a lot of patients do not really know how to use their eye drops properly. Did you know that the wrong use of eye drops can hurt rather than help?

I remember the case of a young gentleman suffering from viral conjunctivitis, who unknowingly allowed his whole family to use his eye drops.{{more}} I ended up treating his family for the same condition, as he had unwittingly passed on the infection to them.

Using eye drops correctly can save you time, hassle and pain.

Here are a list of things you need to know about eye drops if you’re going to be using them on a regular basis

Eye drops are free from bacteria (sterile) before they’re opened. Once they’re opened, here are some things you should know:

1. It is advisable not to let anyone else use your eye drops, and not to use anyone else’s eye drops yourself.

2. The drops should be kept out of children’s reach.

3.It is a good idea to store the drops in a cool, dark place unless otherwise specified.

4. To keep the drops safe from bacteria, don’t let the dropper or its nozzle touch anything else – such as your fingers, eye, skin, etc.

5. Throw out the bottle and get a new one after it has expired. The expiry date is usually about four weeks after opening it.

6. If you feel as if you can taste the drops running down your throat, don’t be alarmed. This is natural as the tear duct draining tears to your nose will contain some of the eye drop. To prevent this, press the area between your inner eyelids and your nose. This is important for breast feeding mothers.

Some eye drops can cause irritation for a while. It is rare for people to be allergic to eye drops, but not impossible. If the problem persists, contact your ophthalmologist.

Have a great week.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210