HealthSheets™


How to Use Eye Drops

Woman's head leaning back.
Step 1

Woman leaning head back and pulling gently down on lower eyelid.
Step 2

Woman leaning head back and pulling gently down on lower eyelid. Other hand is holding eyedrops bottle over eye.
Step 3

Woman leaning head back with closed eye, pressing finger between eye and nose.
Step 4

Step 1

  • Wash your hands.

  • Sit down and tilt your head back. Or, lie down with your head flat and look straight up at the ceiling.

Step 2

  • Make a pocket in the lower lid of one eye. You can do this by pulling your lower lid down gently with your index finger. Or gently pull your lower lid out between your thumb and index finger.

  • Look up.

Step 3

  • Squeeze one eye drop into your lower lid. Be careful that the tip of the bottle does not touch any part of your eye or face.

  • If you aren't sure that the drop got in, you can quickly squeeze a second eye drop. Your eye will only hold a very small amount of liquid. Any extra will run down your cheek. You can then wipe the extra liquid off your cheek. 

  • Gently close your eye. Don’t blink or wipe your eye.

  • If you tend to close your eye before the drop gets in, try this: Close your eye and put one drop in the inside corner of your eye. Open your eye and let the drop run into your lower lid. Then close your eye again.

Step 4

  • Keep your eye closed.

  • Press down with your index finger on the inside corner of your eye. Count to 10 slowly. This helps keep the eye drop from getting into your bloodstream.

  • Wipe away any extra drops before opening your eye.

  • Repeat steps 1 through 4 for your other eye.

  • If you use more than one kind of drop in each eye, wait at least 5 minutes between drops.

CAUTION

Don’t share eye drops, and don’t use anyone else's medicine. Sharing eye drops can spread infection. It can also lead to complications if you use the wrong medicine.

Helpful tip 

Try following steps 1 through 4 while looking into a mirror. Using a mirror can be helpful because it lets you see the eye drop go into your lower lid. This will help you avoid wasting any drops. 

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