How to administer eye drops correctly
Anyone using eye drops for the first time in their life will soon find out that is not easy to administer them. This is because there is hardly any other organ that reacts so sensitively to irritation as the eye: if the drops come into contact with the cornea, the eye tries subconsciously to wash out the “foreign body” with the help of blinking and increased productsion of lacrimal fluid. The right technique is therefore crucial in order to get the maximum effect from the preparation. We have produced for you step-by-step instructions and hygiene guidelines which will help you to correctly administer eye drops and to avoid infection.
Step-by-step: how to administer eye drops correctly
- If you wear contact lenses, it may be that you have to remove them. Please check this in the patient information leaflet of the preparation concerned.
- Some eye drops have to be shaken vigorously before administering. Please also read the patient information leaflet or the label on the bottle to see if this is the case with your drops.
- Tilt your head back gently and pull your lower eyelid slightly downwards. Look upwards while doing this.
- Hold the bottle close over your eye.
- Drop the preparation into the conjunctival sac by slightly pulling the lower eyelid towards the front with your free hand. One drop per eye is usually sufficient, unless your doctor has recommended something else. The COMOD® dosage makes it possible to deliver a precise dose of exactly one drop per pump stroke.
- After that, close your eyes for around one minute. Avoid blinking while doing so. Keeping your eyelids closed, roll your eyes round in a circle in order to distribute the fluid evenly.
Hygiene measures and tips
When administering eye drops, under no circumstances should contaminants or bacteria get into the eye since diseased, dry or inflamed eyes are usually more vulnerable to pathogens as they are already weakened. The consequences of a bacterial infection can be a severe inflammation of an already irritated eye. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to hygienic measures.
Before you use the eye drops, you should first of all thoroughly wash your hands. It is advisable when putting in the drops to be careful that the opening of the bottle neither comes into contact with your hands nor with your eye. As a general rule: eye drops can only be used by one person. The reason for this is that germs may stick to the opening and therefore contaminate the solution. If someone else uses the eye drops, there may be a transfer of the germs.
In addition, there is a range of tips which you can use when administering eye drops:
- Eye drops should be warmed up before use either in your pocket or in your hands. The eye reacts to cold with increased tear productsion and the preparation could be washed out of the eye before it can take effect.
- Shortly after administering the drops, you should lightly rub on the inside corner of the eye with one finger. This prevents premature drainage into the tear duct.
- Experiment to see which position for applying the drops is best for you: some people prefer to administer the drops while standing, others find it easier while lying or sitting.
- If you have to use other drops, too, you should leave an interval of at least ten minutes between them, in order to avoid interactions.
- Every preparation has a certain shelf life after its first usage and this should not be exceeded. All HYLO® EYE products can be used for six months after opening.
Important: depending on the type of eye drops, there can be special characteristics in their administration. Your pharmacist can provide thorough information and you should make sure that you read the patient information leaflet.