How Do I Correctly Apply The Drops To My Eyes?

Applying drops to the eyes seems like a simple task, but doing it correctly is not that easy. Ophthalmic drops are a mode of administration of different treatments for numerous ocular pathologies.

There are many types of drops and they are used frequently. This is because some, lubricants for example, are prescribed to improve the dry eyes that appear from the continued use of screens.

In addition, many people feel reluctant to apply drops in the eyes or make mistakes that can aggravate the underlying pathology. Therefore, in this article we explain step by step how to use them and what you should take into account.

What is the use of applying drops in the eyes?

Before explaining how to apply the drops to the eyes, it is useful to know what they are and what they are used for. The truth is that they can be of many types, which favors that they can be used as a treatment for various ocular pathologies.

An eye drop is a liquid medicine that is placed on the eye. In this way, it could be said that the drops are the way in which these drugs are administered.

Earlier we mentioned lubricating drops, which are used to treat dry eyes. They are the so-called artificial tears . In a study carried out at the University of Seville, they explain that this type is used more and more every day and that it allows the ocular surface to be moistened.

Another reason to apply eye drops is to treat some infections. According to a review article by the National Health System, bacterial conjunctivitis is the most common eye disease. For this reason, the use of eye drops that include antibiotics is also very widespread.

On the other hand, the drops can be used to dilate the pupil. This is useful when performing an eye exam, to get a good look at the fundus. Also to administer anesthesia or reduce intraocular pressure.

The problem is that, for any of these purposes, it is essential to apply the drops correctly in the eyes. The dose, the frequency and taking care of the administration are basic aspects to consider for the treatment to work.

Eye drops.

How are the drops usually applied to the eyes?

Many people require someone’s help to get the drops applied. This is not a problem, as long as the instructions for use are followed. It can be difficult to use the drops without spilling or getting the right dose.

What to do before applying

Before applying drops in the eyes it is essential to be very clear about certain aspects. First, the ideal is that this product has been prescribed by an ophthalmologist or primary care physician. Eye drops or drops should not be used without indication, as they can have negative side effects.

For example, using antibiotic eye drops when there is no infection can create resistance to that same antibiotic. In the same way, sometimes allergic reactions can be triggered.

In addition, the drops and eye drops should be stored as indicated in the package insert. They are drugs that must remain in certain conditions because they tend to lose their effectiveness.

Before using them, it is also important to be clear about the required dose. First you have to find a clean place to carry out this process, just as it is essential to wash your hands very well before doing it.

If the person to whom the drops are to be applied wears contact lenses or glasses, they should be removed. Most eye drops and drops are shaken before use. The bottle consists of a lid and a dropper under it. The dropper should not be touched as it can become contaminated with dirt from your hands.

Use the drops

Once all the previous steps have been carried out and hygiene conditions ensured, the drops are applied to the eyes. To do this you have to try to tilt your head back. It does not matter if they are to be applied by yourself or by someone else.

This ensures that the drops do not fall or spill out of the eye. One tip is to try to fix your gaze on the ceiling of the room. After this, you have to hold the bottle with one hand, while with the other the lower eyelid of the eye is pulled downwards.

When the eyelid is removed, a kind of hole is formed that will prevent the drops from escaping. It can be difficult to hit, so it is recommended to seek help the first few times.

To apply the drops in the eyes, just squeeze the bottle at the base. It is important to emphasize again that the dropper should not be touched with the fingers, as explained in the ophthalmic therapy chapter of the book “General Ophthalmology”.

What to do after putting in the drops

With the head still back, once the drops have been applied in the eyes, the eyelids should be closed. Many people tend to blink because the sensation is strange. However, this is contraindicated.

You have to keep your eyes closed for a few minutes so that the drops are absorbed. In addition, it is recommended to press the tear duct area. If drops have been spilled on your face, you can use any tissue to clean them. After the process is finished, it is also important to wash your hands again.

Hand washing to put drops in the eyes.

Alternative method of applying eye drops

In the previous section we have explained the most common way to use the drops. However, it is very common that there are people who find this difficult. For example, children or those who fear that something is close to their eyes.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology , there is an alternative method in these cases. The idea is to seek greater stability and avoid the rejection reaction in front of the bottle.

The preliminary steps are the same as in the traditional method. There must be adequate hand hygiene, the eye drops must be in good condition and the dropper must not be touched.

In this case you can use a sofa or a bed to lie down and be more comfortable. Ideally, keep your eyes closed until just the moment to take the drops. The bottle can be held with three fingers, while the nose is pressed with the other two for stability.

Eye drops are a medical treatment

Eye drops may seem harmless, but many of them contain medication. Therefore, it is essential that they are prescribed by a doctor and that all his instructions are followed.

In addition, the eyes are a part of the body that is highly prone to infection. Hence, it is so important to take extreme hygiene conditions when applying them. Remember that your hands must be clean and that you should always avoid touching the dropper in the bottle.

This dropper must also not come into contact with another surface. On the other hand, if you have to apply several types of drops at the same time, the ideal is to wait a couple of minutes between one and the other. Nor should contact lenses be placed right after, unless they are lubricating drops.

The last thing to remember is that if applying the drops to your eyes is difficult, you can ask someone for help. Anyone can use them, as long as the explained measures are followed.

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