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How to Properly Apply Eye Drops

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

Everyone knows that dry, red and itchy eyes are unsightly and uncomfortable. They can be caused by seasonal allergies, lack or sleep or an underlying health issue. Some people don’t know that you can use eye drops to combat the problem and go about your day more productively. If you are one of the many people who feel uncomfortable when trying to insert drops, use these tips and tricks to make the process easier.

Cleanliness Is Important

As with any other task you perform related to your eyes, your hands must be clean before inserting drops into your eyes. This ensures no dust or tiny pieces of debris become lodged under your lid and prevents bacteria from entering the eye.

Prepare Your Eye

Remove your glasses or contact lenses before trying to insert drops. There is an exception to this rule, though. Some drops are formulated specifically to use with your contacts. Ask your local eye doctor in La Mesa, CA if you aren’t sure.

Inspect the Drops

If you have had the drops for a while, make sure they haven’t expired. You should also inspect the tip and check for any cracks that may cause too many drops to release at once. Do not to touch the tip with your fingers.

Insert the Drops

Now you are ready to insert the drops, which requires patience and practice.

  1. Tilt your head back and find a focal point on the ceiling.
  2. With your eyes wide open, use two fingers just below your eye to gently pull down the lower lid and create a pocket for the drops.
  3. Use your other hand to hold the bottle. If needed, you can rest your hand on your forehead to hold the bottle steady.
  4. Holding the bottle about an inch from your eye, lightly squeeze until one drop enters your lower lid. Repeat as needed.
  5. Close your eyes, tilt your head down and try not to blink for a few seconds.

If you suffer from dry, itchy eyes regularly and find that over-the-counter drops don’t help, there may be a more serious underlying issue. Our experienced optometrists are happy to provide a thorough examination and help you determine the best course of treatment.


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