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How to Put in Eye Drops

From eye allergy relief to artificial tears, there are many types of eye drops to treat a wide variety of conditions. It’s important to use the correct eye drops for your symptoms. Putting eye drops in, especially by yourself, can seem difficult. Follow these steps to learn how to correctly put in eye drops.

Putting Eye Drops In

Before Putting in Eye Drops

  • Wash hands with soap and water then dry them with a clean towel.
  • Remove contacts unless an eye doctor specifies the drops can be used with contact lenses.
  • Read the instructions on the eye drop bottle and check expiration date.
  • Once you remove the cap on the eye drops bottle, don’t let it touch anything such as fingers, eyes, a tissue, or the countertop because this can contaminate the drops.

Steps to Put in Eye Drops

How to put eye drops in
  1. Tilt your head back or lie down and look up at the ceiling. It may help to concentrate on a specific area while inserting the drops.
  2. Place a finger or two below your eye and gently pull down to create a pocket between your eyeball and the lower eyelid.
  3. Hover the eye drop bottle about an inch over your eye and lightly squeeze to release one drop into the pocket of your eye.
  4. Close your eyes and try not to blink.
  5. Gently apply pressure to the tear duct (the inner corner of your eye next to your nose) to allow the eye drop to stay on the eye longer.
  6. Wipe away any excess drops from around the eye with a clean tissue.
  7. Repeat this process with the other eye if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use two different types of eye drops?

A: If you are inserting more than one eye drop at a time, wait five minutes in between applications to make sure the first drop is fully absorbed.

Q: What order should I put in eye drops?

A: If you are using a medicated eye drop and an over-the-counter eye drop, many doctors suggest putting in the medicated eye drop first. Talk with your doctor about what eye drops to use and the order.

Q: Can I use eye drops while wearing contacts?

A: Rewetting drops are the only eye drops that you should use with your contact lenses in, unless otherwise specified by your doctor.

Q: How can I practice putting in eye drops?

A: If you are worried about putting too many eye drops in, use preservative-free artificial tears to practice putting in eye drops. It’s helpful to get comfortable inserting eye drops before using prescription eye drops to avoid over-medicating.

Q: What if I can’t put in eye drops by myself?

A: Ask someone for help if you still have trouble learning how to use eye drops by yourself. They can teach you where to position the bottle of eye drops above your eye so that the drop lands in the pocket between your eye and lower eyelid.

Q: What can I use to put in eye drops?

A: There are tools you can use to help you put eye drops in such as an eye drop guide.


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