Although it may seem like a simple task, administering eyedrops successfully can often become a challenging feat that many individuals struggle to achieve. Eyedrops that are not administered correctly may fall short of making contact with the eye, landing on the cheeks or other facial areas instead. To reduce the risk of wasting your eye drop solution, the following tips and tricks can be used to ensure successful administration.


    Before any attempts are made, you should always wash your hands and remove your contact lenses before applying your eyedrops. The effect of eyedrops while wearing contact lenses varies greatly depending upon the type of eyedrops that have been prescribed. Generally, if you are using medicated eyedrops to treat eye conditions such as pink eye or an eye disease such as glaucoma, drops must be applied directly to the eyes without any lenses involved.

    Some medicated eyedrops have the drug contained in suspension instead of in solution. In order for these drops to work properly when administered, they must be shaken before use. It is also important to keep in mind that you are fully responsible for preventing contamination of your eyedrop bottle. When the cap is removed from the bottle, place it on its side or continue holding it so that it does not become contaminated from contact with other surfaces. During application, avoid making any contact between the tip of the bottle and your eye; this is a common mistake that many people make while trying to ensure the drops make contact.

    Administering the Eyedrops

    The most common method used to administer eyedrops involves holding the bottle upside down with the thumb and index finger while the other hand carefully pulls down the lower eyelid to form the shape of a pouch. For best results, your head should be tilted back and you should be looking up. Place the tip of the bottle beside your lower eyelid and then lightly squeeze so that one drop will be released into the pouch between the eye and the lid.

    Using eyedrops correctly

    Another method that can be used involves holding the bottle between the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand while resting your pinky finger below your lower lid. This finger is then used to pull the lid down slightly, creating the pouch with the lid. Tilt your head back while looking up and then gently squeeze the bottle.

    Additional Considerations

    Due to the close proximity of the bottle to the eye when using the methods described above, it should be much easier for the eyedrops to reach the desired area. If you are still experiencing difficulties, you may find that it is easier to administer eyedrops while laying down or looking in front of a mirror. If you need to administer multiple types of eyedrops, you should wait around three minutes before proceeding to the next application. Contact lens users should wait at least 15 minutes before proceeding to wear lenses again.

    Systemic side effects are sometimes common with the application of eyedrops. To reduce these side effects, using the eyelid closure technique is recommended. When the drop has been placed on your eye, close your eyes once and place the pad of your finger on the inside corner of your eyelid, beside your nose. Press gently and leave your eyes closed for the next two minutes. This will ensure that the eyedrops fully penetrate your eyes and will also prevent the drops from getting inside of your nose through the tear drainage ducts.

    Posted December 20, 2016 by Silverstein Eye Centers
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