Using Eye medications









Properly Using Medications Put in the Eye

Eye drops

    If eye drops have been prescribed use them correctly so you get the maximum benefits from the medicine, decrease the chances of systemic side effects, and do not waste the medicine by getting it on your face.

To properly apply your eye drops, follow these steps:

bulletFirst, wash your hands.

bulletLie on your back in bed, or if possible tilt your head way back.

bulletHold the bottle in one hand and place it close to the eye.

bulletWith the other hand, pull down your lower eyelid. This forms a pocket.

bulletPlace a drop into the lower eyelid pocket. It is not necessary to get the drop on the eye itself and unless otherwise instructed only one drop is needed. Try not to touch the tip of the bottle to the eye or your hands or face.

bulletIf you are using more than one type of eye drop, wait at least five minutes before using the second medication. You do not want the second drop to wash out the first one. After you are finished, close your eyes for several minutes. This keeps the final drop in the eye and helps prevent it from draining into the tear duct. Drainage through the tear duct system increases your risk of systemic side effects from the eye medication and decreases the drops beneficial effects on the eye.

bulletDiscard unused medications as they can outdate or become contaminated. Generally, store eye drops at room temperature unless the pharmacist recommends that they be refrigerated.


Eye ointments

    Eye ointments are prescribed less frequently than eye drops, as they tend to cause blurring of vision for a significant amount of time. They do have the advantage of staying in the space between the eye and lids for a longer time than drops will, and so expose the eye to the medication for a longer period of time.


bulletFirst, wash your hands

bulletIn front of a mirror tilt your head down, and look up with the eyes into the mirror. With one hand pull the lower lid down and with the other hand squeeze a ribbon of ointment about inch long on the inside of the lower lid where it meets the eyeball. Try not to touch the tip of the ointment tube to anything but the inside of the lower lid.

bulletKeep the eye shut for several minutes after instilling the ointment.

bulletDiscard unused ointment as it can outdate or become contaminated. Store eye ointments at room temperature.

This page was last updated on 06/22/23