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Applying Eye Drops

April 13, 2015

Best Advice for Applying Eye Drops

For most Canadian, eye drops are accentuated by discomfort, mess, and an awkwardness rarely seen beyond small children. Yet there are many reasons that we need to use eye drops be it medical conditions, to relieve irritation, or to freshen contacts.

Here are the key steps in ensuring the drops make it safely into your eye:

  • First, wash your hands to prevent further infection or irritation
  • Make sure the dropper tip is clean and not damaged. Avoid touching the dropper to your eye
  • To apply the drop: Tilt your head back, pull down the lower lid with your index finger to form a pocket. Laying down face up can increase your ease and success
  • Hold the dropper (tip down) with the other hand as close to the eye as possible. Brace the remaining fingers of the dropper hand against your face if necessary
  • While looking up, gently squeeze the dropper so that a single drop falls into the pocket. Remove your index finger from the lower eye lid
  • Close your eye for 2-3 minutes and tip your head down, try not to blink or squeeze your eyelids. Studies have shown that it takes 2 full minutes for the drop to completely penetrate the surface of the eye
  • Place you finger on the tear duct and apply gentle pressure, wipe away any excess with a tissue
  • If you are using more than one drop in the same eye, wait 5 minutes between drop
  • Replace and tighten the cap on the dropper bottle, do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip to avoid contamination
  • Wash your hands to remove any excess medication

If you still find it difficult, here are a few added measures to increase your chances of a successful application.

If your hands are shaking, try approaching your eye from the side, rest your hand on your face, or try using a light wrist weight which can reduce mild shaking. If you are not sure the drop actually got in your eye, put in another drop. The eyelids can hold only about one drop and any excess will just run out of the eye.

Finally, if you are having trouble holding onto the bottle, try wrapping something like a paper towel around the bottle to make it wider. Assistive devices are also available.

For further assistance, contact our caring staff and expert optometrists to answer all of your questions to provide you the clear vision you deserve. To book your appointment call Londonderry Eye Care today at 780–476-7631 or online at