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Using eye drops correctly

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Using eye drops correctly can save you time, hassle and pain. If you use the appropriate technique, you can administer eye drops both comfortably and efficiently. Here is a list of things that you might need along with your eye drops – a mirror, tissues, a hand towel and antibacterial soap.{{more}}

Here is the correct way to use eye drops –

1. Use the antibacterial soap to wash your hands thoroughly.

2. Stand or sit in front of your mirror.

3. Take off the top of the eye drop bottle.

4. Bend your head back and pull your lower eyelid down as gently as possible.

5. Hold the dropper of the bottle over one eye and squeeze a drop inside the lower eyelid. Don’t touch your eyes or eyelashes with the tip of the dropper. In fact, don’t touch anything else with it.

6. Once you’ve used the dropper let go of your eyelid and blink a few times, so that the drop spreads evenly over the surface of your whole eye.

7. Wipe away with a tissue the liquid that falls onto your cheeks, if any.

8. If prescribed for both eyes, repeat the process with your other eye.

9. If you are supposed to use more than one drop, wait for a couple of minutes before repeating the procedure. If put it in too quickly, the second drop might wash away the first one. Giving the first drop time to settle in is effective and very important.

You also need to take care of the eye drops when you aren’t using them. Here is a list of things you need to know about eye drops if you’re going to be using them on a regular basis –

Eye drops are free from bacteria (sterile) before they’re opened. Once they’re opened, here are some things you should know –

o It is advisable not to let anyone else use your eye drops, and not to use anyone else’s eye drops yourself

o The drops should be kept out of children’s reach

o It is a good idea to store the drops in a cool, dark place unless otherwise specified

o To keep the drops safe from bacteria, don’t let the dropper or its nozzle touch anything else – such as your fingers, eye, skin, etc.

o Throw out the bottle and get a new one after it has expired. The expiry date is usually about four weeks after opening it.

o If you feel as if you can taste the drops running down your throat, don’t be alarmed. This is natural as the tear duct draining tears to your nose will contain some of the eye drop. To prevent this press the area between your inner eyelids and your nose. This is important for breast feeding mothers.

o Some eye drops can cause irritation for a while. It is rare for people to be allergic to eye drops, but not impossible. If the problem persists, contact your ophthalmologist.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: Beachmont@gmail.com

Tel: 784 456-1210

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