Eye Matters
June 17, 2014
How to use your eye drops

A wise man once said “practice makes perfect.” Another wise man countered that by saying “no, practice makes permanent.”

Dear Readers,

Time and again I come across patients who still do not know how to use their eye drops properly. Healing is 10 per cent doctor and 90 per cent patient. So let’s talk about using your eye drops properly.{{more}}

Eye drops come as suspensions or sterile solutions. They work directly on the eye.

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

  • It is advisable not to let anyone else use your eye drops, and not to use anyone else’s eye drops yourself
  • The drops should be kept out of children’s reach
  • It is a good idea to store the drops in a cool, dark place, unless otherwise specified
  • 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.
  • Throw out the bottle and get a new one after it has expired. The expiry date is usually about four weeks after opening it.
  • 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.

Using eye drops correctly can save you time, hassle and pain. If you use the appropriate technique, you can administer eye drops both comfortably and efficiently.

Follow the advice given above and you should increase the effectiveness of your eye drops, enhance healing and avoid the spread of disease. Next week we will discuss how to instill the drops correctly.

Remember healing is 10 per cent doctor and 90 per cent patient. Practice makes permanent.

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