How to Use Eye Drops

Putting in eye drops can be tricky. Follow along as we show you some simple tricks to master this important task.

Having to put drops into your eyes a few times a day can be annoying. But even though they may frustrate you, eye drops are really important. 

Over the counter and medicated prescription eye drops can help alleviate the symptoms of:  

Without lubricating drops, you might have to put up with burning eyes, discharge, or blurry vision. 

If you’re not sure you’re using them right, eye drops may seem a bit intimidating. The good news is they’re much easier to use than you may think. Here’s what you need to know. 

Has it been a while since your last eye exam? Now’s the time to book an appointment! 

Step 1: Store Them Properly 

Always make sure to read the label of your eye drops to see how to properly store them. You can keep most eye drops in a dry place at room temperature, like a medicine cabinet. Some drops, like the ones used for glaucoma, may need to be refrigerated. 

Step 2: Read the Instructions

Don’t forget to read the full instructions. Prescription drops can be a lot different from over-the-counter drops so it’s important to know exactly when to use them and how many drops to use each time.  

Step 3: Wash Your Hands First

Before you begin, remember to wash your hands. It may sound like a no-brainer but 50% of people don’t do it. You pick up lots of germs as you go throughout the day — there are 3,200 germs on the average hand — and you don’t want them to end up on the bottle or in your eye.  

Step 4: Remove Contact Lenses  

If you wear contact lenses, now is the time to take them out. Check the instructions for the drops that you are using. Depending on the type of drops, you may need to take a break from your contact lenses for a while. Follow the directions carefully to avoid irritation or infection.  

Step 5: Apply the Drops 

Now, sit or lie down and tilt your head back. With your left hand, pry open your top right eyelid.  Firmly squeeze the bottle so that the drops lands right on your eye, and then close it. If you need help, ask a partner to squeeze while you hold your eye open. 

Step 6: Treat Both Eyes 

After you insert the drop, switch your hands and repeat these steps in your other eye.  

Step 7: Try Not to Blink 

Now close both eyes for several seconds or even a minute or two to let the drops soak in. If you blink too much, the drops could leak out before they get to work. Your best bet is to just keep your eyes shut. 

Step 8: Mind the Expiration Date 

Expired eye drops can lose their medicinal properties. Take the expiration date seriously. You’ll run the risk of getting an infection and having to start another round of eye drops.  

Put these steps into practice and you should find using eye drops easier than ever. 

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