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Eye Library / Eye Drops

Using eye drops

• Wash your hands and sit or stand in front of a mirror. Take off the top of the bottle.
• Bend your head backwards and gently pull your lower eyelid down.
• Hold the dropper above one eye and squeeze one drop inside the lower eyelid. Try not to touch your eye, eyelashes, or anything else with the dropper tip.
• Let go of the eyelid and blink a few times. This helps to spread the drop over the whole eye surface.
• Wipe away any liquid that falls onto your cheek with a tissue.
• Repeat in the other eye if the drop is prescribed for both eyes.
• If you are prescribed more than one drop, or need to put in another type of drop, wait for a couple of minutes before putting a second drop into an eye. This allows the first drop to 'settle in' and not be washed out by a second drop if it is put in too quickly.

Some points about eye drops

• Eye-drops are sterile (free from bacteria) before the bottle top is opened. Once it is opened:
• Keep the bottle closed in a cool, dark place (unless otherwise advised).
• Do not let the dropper or dropper nozzle touch your eye, fingers, or any other surface. This is to keep it free from bacteria (bugs).
• Do not let anyone else use your drops, and do not use anyone else's drops yourself.
• Throw out the bottle (and get a new one if required) after the recommended time. This is usually 4 weeks after first opening the bottle. There is a risk that the drops may become infected if they are kept and used for longer than advised. (One tip is to write the date that you opened the bottle on the label so you will know when it is time to throw it out.)
• You may get a taste of eye drops in your mouth, or a feeling that the drops are running down your throat. This is normal as the tear duct which drains tears to your nose will also drain some of the eye drop.
• Some eye drops sting or irritate for a short while. Rarely, some people are allergic to some eye drops. Tell your doctor if eye symptoms become worse after using eye drops.
• Do not wear contact lenses whilst using eye drops unless otherwise advised. (Some drugs and preservatives in eye drops can accumulate in soft contact lenses and may cause harm.)
• Keep the drops out of children's reach.