Posted ineye health

How to use eye drops correctly

eye drops

Eye drops are the main medication used in ophthalmology.

When are eye drops needed?

  • For eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, mastoiditis and blepharitis;
  • To relieve inflammation associated with diseases such as iritis, choroiditis and iridocyclitis;
  • Alleviating the symptoms of allergies – both during exacerbation and for prevention;
  • Treatment of glaucoma and cataracts – can help reduce intraocular pressure;
  • Pain relief – anesthetic solutions prevent pain syndromes during recovery from serious illness or after surgery;
  • Diagnostic use – these types of eye drops are often used to assess health. They can be used to look at the back of the eye and assess the degree of tissue damage;
  • Moisturizing the eyes – this type of eye drop, also known as artificial tears, is prescribed for certain eye conditions and to prevent drying of the mucous membranes when wearing contact lenses or working at a computer. The dose of each 15-minute treatment is calculated so that some of the medication enters the bloodstream, some remains on the mucosa of the eye and the rest simply runs out. This is why it is very important to follow the programme prescribed by your doctor or stated in the instructions for use. If you do not use eye drops correctly, there is a risk of infection of the healthy eye.

In addition, eye drops are an environment in which germs can easily multiply, so if you do not maintain sterility, you may not only fail to cure discomfort, but also harm yourself. Finally, your eyelashes should never touch the tip of the eye drop bottle, as all sorts of micro-organisms are always present on your eyelashes.

Important: In many cases, eye drops are equivalent to an intravenous injection. As the eye is the most sensitive organ, certain rules must be followed when applying eye drops yourself.

Step-by-step instructions for using eye drops:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, preferably antibacterial, and wipe them dry. You can use paper towels or tissues;
2. Always rinse or wipe your eyes before treatment. If you wear contact lenses, remove them if the instructions say to do so (some modern formulations can be used with lenses);
3. Warm the eye drop bottle by rubbing it with your hands. Doing this with cold hands will not prevent contact and may cause additional discomfort;
4. When dispensing liquids with pipettes, always use the pipettes separately. Use a new pipette when opening a new formulation;
5. Keep a small mirror handy to avoid injury;
6. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Standing is not recommended;
7. Tilt your head back;
8. Use your fingers to pull the lower eyelid back to create a “pocket” where fluid can easily enter. Too much force may cause pain;
9. Turn the bottle upside down and bring the tip close to the eyeball, but avoid touching the eyeball, mucous membranes or eyelashes;
10. It is advisable to look up while injecting, but do not allow the tip to leave your field of vision;
11. Inject one or two drops of the medication into the conjunctival sac as close to the corner of the eye as possible. More drops than necessary may be injected as the excess will be removed with tears;
12. Then slowly move to an upright position. Close your eyes for 2-3 minutes to allow the product to spread evenly. It is not recommended to blink to avoid washing away the drops, but you can gently massage the corner of the eye;
13. Repeat with the other eye.

Important: When administering several eye drops at the same time, it is necessary to wait for the required time interval (10-30 minutes, more precise time depends on the specific medicine). This prevents the components from reacting with each other.

Precautions for use

To ensure that each treatment is carried out quickly and effectively, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Avoid using medicines that have not been stored at the correct temperature and have passed their expiry date;
  • Avoid using medicines that cause discomfort or allergic reactions. If you experience any discomfort, you should consult a specialist.
  • The doctor will replace the medicine if possible;
  • Remember basic safety and hygiene rules;
  • Medication will not reach the conjunctival sac and will flow out without therapeutic effect;
  • Avoid letting the medication flow into the corner of the eye. In this case, most of the solution will leak out;
  • Careless handling of the ampoule – you may damage the conjunctiva or the corneal layer;
  • Do not rub the eye with your hand – some solutions cause unpleasant sensations (a slight burning or tingling is acceptable) after injection due to the ingredients in the solution, but rubbing the eye will only increase these sensations. There is also a risk of mucosal irritation;
  • If the prescription contains more than one medication, there must be a 30-minute interval between them. This prevents the active ingredients from mixing and side effects from occurring;
  • Keep medicine containers in the refrigerator. Once opened, they will keep for up to one month;
  • Do not use other people’s medicines or give your eye drops to other people. This is to prevent the spread of infection.

Important: Do not use medicine that is out of date.

How to use eye drops for children – Instructions for use

Applying eye drops to a child’s eyes can cause some difficulties. Children are afraid of almost all procedures, so if eye drops are prescribed, it is necessary to tell them that this procedure is not painful.

eye drops

The injection itself is not much different from the one described above, but you, not the child, will be the one to pull back the eyelid and apply the eye drops. Procedure:

1. wash hands with soap and water
2. remove any pus and crusts;
3. Have a clean handkerchief or lint free tissue handy to wipe off any excess medication;
4. warm the eye drops in your hand;
5. put the child on the sofa or bed and tilt their head back slightly to calm them if they are tense;
6. ask the child to look up at the ceiling or hold something interesting above them;
7. the lower eyelid should then be drawn back slightly and the drops injected into the conjunctival sac in the centre without touching the eye with the pipette;
8. allow the child to sit still for a few minutes and then wipe off any excess medicine with a handkerchief.

Eye drops must be used correctly. It is important to follow the instructions so that the medicine works and the condition does not get worse. By following these simple rules, you can make eye drops effective and comfortable.