how to use eye drops

How To Use Eye Drops-Comprehensive Guide

Eye drops are the most common way of eye disease treatment. The widely used medicine is Anti-fatigue eye drops, Anti-inflammatory eye drops, and Artificial tears to lubricate dry eyes. The right way of using eye drops can help rapid recovery from disease. This article will show how to use eye drops in the right way and what we should pay attention to when using them.

The standard procedure is:

1.Open the lid of the eye drop and put it on the prepared clean paper towel

2.Stand or sit in a chair. Make sure our heads tilt back at an angle of 50° to 60° with the ground.

3.Use the index finger of your left hand gently pull down your eyelid so that the liquid can be dropped in easily. 

4.Hold the eye drop bottle with your right thumb, index finger, and middle finger, with the dropper facing down. The nozzle of the eyedropper bottle should be as close to the eye as possible but should not touch the eyeball or eyelashes to prevent contamination of the liquid.

5.Rest the palm of your right hand against the back of your left hand can make you. See the below picture.

6.Look up and gently squeeze the bottle with your fingers, and make liquid drops into the pouch made by the lower eyelid. It is wrong to drop liquid on the eyeball directly. 

7.Close your eyes naturally and lower your head. Don’t blink or press your eyes with your hands. Gently press the lacrimal sac area (inner corner of the eye) with your finger for 1-2 minutes to reduce the drug absorption by your body.

8.Close the lid and do not touch the nozzle tip.

9.Wipe the extra eye drops around your eyes with another clean paper towel that you have prepared.

10.Follow the same procedure as mentioned above for the other eye.

use eye drops process

Before you use the drops it is important that your doctor knows

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any eye drops.
  • If you normally wear contact lenses.
  • If you have been told you have a higher than normal pressure in your eye, or if you have glaucoma.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Get ready to use eye drops.

1.Please ensure that package of eye drops are good if the eye drops are newly purchased. Please do not use it if you find the package or primary packaging which has direct contact with the medicine is damaged. 

2.Read the construction carefully to use the right dosage

3.Confirm the eye drops do not expire.

For prescription drugs: please confirm with your pharmacist about the expiration date; OTC: please read the package label.

confirm the eye drops do not expire view eye drop bottle


4.Check the instructions for side effects to make sure you know what may happen after using eye drops. 

5.Check the right way to use eye drops. Some eye drops need to be shaken a few times before use to ensure that the ingredients are sufficient and the dose will be more effective.

6.Check the eye drop liquid color; please do not use it if the color changes. 

7.Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer and dry them with a clean paper towel. Do not touch other things after drying your hands to avoid contact with germs.

wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer and dry them with a clean paper towel

8.Prepare two clean paper towels, one for the lid and one for wiping extra eye drops around your eyes.

After the preparation, here are the steps to use eye drops. 

3 things after using eye drops

  1. Wash your hands carefully.
  2. Store eye drop bottles according to instructions or doctor’s instructions.
  3. Observe for 20-30 minutes; if any side effects happen and do not disappear for a long time, please contact the doctor immediately.

What is the side effect of using eye drops?

Rare More Common Less Common
  • Blurred vision or other change in vision
  • eye pain
  • irritation (severe) or redness of the eye
  • nausea
  • skin rash, hives, or itching
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • dryness of the eye
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • swelling of the eyelid
  • tearing of the eye
  • Burning or other discomfort of the eye
  • crusting or crystals in corner of the eye
  • Bad taste following use in the eye
  • feeling of something in the eye
  • itching of the eye
  • redness of the lining of the eyelids

Generally, side effects occur and may go away during the treatment when your body adjusts to the medication. But if the symptoms occur for a long time, you must contact your doctor immediately.

Other side effects are not listed; if you notice any other effects, please consult your healthcare professional.

What is the shelf life of eye drops?

  1. Under sealing conditions (without opening the lid), the validity period is 1-3 years (from the date of production).
  2. Eye drops containing preservatives are recommended to be used within 28 to 30 days after opening. If not, no further use is recommended.
  3. Preservative-free eye drops should be discarded within 24 hours of opening and use.
  4. Please check the validity on the instruction. 

Why will eyedrops expire?

  1. The active chemicals in eye drops will break down, which means they’ll be less effective and safe. 
  2. The chemicals in the eye drops may degrade and turn into potentially harmful compounds. 
  3. Many eye drops contain preservatives to help them last longer and avoid bacterial contamination. But preservatives themselves can deteriorate over time.
  4. Frequent opening of eye drops will also cause oxygen to enter the container and make contact with the liquid medicine. The components in the liquid are oxidized, which weakens the efficacy.

Important remarks and information

  1. If the liquid is cloudy or discolored, do not use it again. 
  2. If you are using multiple eye medications, check with your pharmacist to see if they can be used at the same time and in what order. 
  3. Don’t share eye drops with others 
  4. If you are going to use more than one drop in the same eye, you better wait at least 5 minutes before the next drop. 
  5. Drop the liquid on the eyelid and not on the eyeball. 
  6. Tell your doctor about your allergies and medication history 
  7. Keep eye drop bottles out of reach of children. 
  8. If you wear contact lenses for a long time, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can use contact lenses when using medication. 
  9. Give priority to the eyes with mild symptoms, follow the principle of first mild and then severe, and avoid cross infection. The best way is to use a different bottle of eye drops for each eye. 
  10. For patients with respiratory diseases, when using eye drops, please avoid swallowing fluids into the mouth as much as possible.

how long should you use prednisolone eye drops?click here

how long can you use steroid eye drops?click here

Any Question?
Safety Professionalism
Efficiency Sustainability
Share to: