Eye-drops made easy

Your optometrist may prescribe eye-drops to treat a range of eye problems. Sometimes they are difficult to insert properly but by following these directions you can improve your chances of getting it right. Always wash your hands before using eye-drops.

First, tilt your head back and look upward, then gently pinch the skin of your lower eyelid between your thumb and index finger to create a 'pocket' for the drop. Alternatively, gently pull your lower lid down with your index finger.

While looking up, not directly at the bottle, gently release a drop into the pocket of your eyelid. Try to keep the bottle's nozzle or the dropper from touching the eye as this could transfer infection to the container.

Sometimes blinking can prevent you from getting the drop into your eye. If this is a problem, try closing your eye and pulling down the lower lid, then aim the drop into the inside corner of your eye. Open your eye and let the drop run into your lower lid. This method is not as effective as inserting drops into a 'pocket', so try to master that technique.

To help keep the medication in your eye and prevent it from escaping through your tear duct, (situated at the inner corner of the eye) block the duct by gently pressing with your index finger on the inside corner of your closed eye, for about one minute.

If you use more than one kind of eye-drops, you will need to wait at least five minutes between insertions.

It is important to follow all instruction given to you by your optometrist or doctor and to complete the course of medication prescribed. It is also important that you discuss with your practitoner any other medications, including non-prescription or alternative medicines you are using, or any allergies you have.

If you experience side-effects such as burning, inflammation, puffiness, itching or change in vision, contact your optometrist immediately. Discard any drops left-over after completing the treatment.