Guidelines For Using Eye Drops: Important Information For Glaucoma Patients

Posted on: 6 March 2015

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the optical nerve and the peripheral vision. However, if you faithfully apply your prescription eye drops, you can usually be in control of the problem. Unfortunately, just 64 percent of glaucoma patients consistently take their eye drops. What's more, only 10 percent of people with glaucoma remember to take their drops. If you have glaucoma, here are some guidelines for correctly applying your eye drops and remembering to take them.

Application Tips

  • Lie down on your back, facing the ceiling. This makes it more likely that your drops will fall in your eye.
  • Pull down your lower eyelid. You want to increase the likelihood of a drop falling in a greater portion of your eyeball surface.
  • Hold the bottle vertically, positioning it roughly an inch above the surface of your eye.
  • Gently squeeze the bottle until a drop lands on your eyeball.
  • Don't let the tip of the bottle make contact with your eye because this can result in bacteria transfer.
  • Shut your eyelid tight once the drop hits your eye surface. Keep it closed for 60 seconds, and try not to blink.

Tips for Remembering to Take Your Eye Drops

The main problem in taking eye drops is forgetting to take them. These tips can help you remember when to apply your drops.

  • Connect taking the drops to another activity. For example, you could take them after mealtimes.
  • Have someone who lives with you remind you.
  • Keep your eye drops out on a counter where you can see them.
  • Set an alarm or wrist watch for the times you need to take your drops.
  • Use memory devices such as wearing a rubber band on your wrist.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Some exceptionally small eye drop bottles can seem too tiny to hold. If this is the case, wrap a paper towel or something else around the bottle to add more width so that you can grasp it better.
  • For shaky hands, wear a small wrist weight around your wrist. The additional weight on your wrist can reduce mild trembling. You can usually find these items at sporting good stores.
  • If you have more than one kind of prescription eye drop, wait at least five minutes before you apply the next drop. If you apply a second drop too soon after the first one, the first drop can be washed out. As a result, the first drop is ineffective.
  • Apply only a single drop in each eye although some bottles may tell you to place two drops in one eye.

Eye drop applications don't have to be hard. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to consult your eye doctor such as someone from Atlantic Ophthalmology.