How to Use Eye Drops


Hi, this is Doug Wisner. I'm an Ophthalmologist at Wills Eye Hospital in the Cataract in Primary Eye Care Service, and I am just going to go over a brief instructional video about how to use eye drops and some tips for using eye drops. These are medications that many patients with eye conditions use every day, and it can be frustrating to run out of your drops early or have trouble getting your drops in. So we're going to try and give you some tips to help out with that.

The most important thing is to read the manufacturer's instructions regarding the drops beforehand and always wash your hands or sanitized with an alcohol-based sanitizer prior to putting in eye drops. Make sure you don't use eye drops that are past their expiration date especially once the bottle has been opened.

When you're using eyedrops, you obviously want to take off your glasses or contacts first if you're wearing them, and then you will tilt your head back and bring the eye drop bottle up and drop it right into the lower aspect of the eyelid, which I'll show you're right now.

So what you do is use one hand to pull down the lower eyelid and create a pocket between the eye and eyelid. Lean your head back and look up and steady your second hand on the first looking right up at the eyedropper and squeeze.

As long as you feel it hits your eye or the edge of the eye lid, you've gotten it in and you don't need any more than one eye drop. Many times it will roll down onto your cheek and that is okay as long as you felt it hit the surface of your eye.

Tips on How to Use Eyedrops

We have three tips for you to help you get your eye drops in more effectively and save on medication costs and to increase the effectiveness of your eye drops.

1. The first is to create a habit of when to put in the eye drops. So if you're using twice-a-day eye drops, if there's something you do twice a day with regularity that is spaced out throughout the day such as wash your face, then keep your eye drops right near the sink, so that you always remember to take them at that point in time.

2. The other thing is if you're not sure you're getting your eye drops in. For many drops you can keep them in the refrigerator and that will cool down the drop so that when you put it in your eye, you'll feel it hit the surface of your eye. Always check the manufacturer's instructions to make sure that's safe for your particular eye drops.

3. The third thing is an alternative way to put in eye drops for people that have difficulty with the traditional method because of the bottle shape or if your fingers are a little bit weak or have difficulty using both hands at the same time. That is too lean your head back or recline in a chair, Put the eyedropper on the bridge of your nose and just rest it there, and look all the way up past it at the ceiling, and then squeeze. The eye drop will go right into the eye, or if it doesn't into the inner corner of the eye lid. And if you lean your head back and blink, you'll eventually feel it hit your eye. And then you're not wasting eye drops missing your eye with the other method.

Thank you for watching. Hope this was helpful. Again, this is Doug Wisner with the Cataract and Primary Eye Care Service at Wills Eye Hospital.