Eye Protection Drops

Eye drops are liquid drops that are used to both protect the eyes and to treat eye conditions. As a result, they come in many forms, containing a variety of ingredients. For example, while some types of eye drops contain medication, others only contain extra lubrication or tear-replacing liquid.

Some of the various types of medications can be administered by eye drop include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Beta receptor blockers
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Parasympathomimetics
  • Parasympatholytics
  • Prostaglandins
  • Steroids
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Topical anesthetics.

Similarly, if you use contacts or have frequent problems with redness or dryness, eye drops may help you protect your eyes and keep them from becoming irritated. Your eye doctor can recommend the best type of eye drops for your eyes.

How to Use Eye Drops

Using a mirror can make putting in eye drops easier. Some people also find that having someone else insert eye drops for them is easier. This is most effective if the patient lies down and the person inserting the eye drops sits above them.

 

Follow these steps for easy eye drop use:

 

  1. Wash your hands before putting in eye drops.
  2. Make sure the eye dropper tip is clean and not cracked. Wipe off any substance on the tip before using.
  3. Try not to touch the eye dropper tip against anything, including your eyes.
  4. Tilt your head back and pull your lower eyelid out to create a gap for the drop to fall into.
  5. Hold the dropper as close to your eye as possible without touching it.
  6. Brace your remaining fingers against your face as you squeeze the correct number of drops into the gap between your eyelid and eyeball.
  7. Keep your eyes closed for a few minutes after using the drops to allow them to absorb.
  8. Wipe any extra drop liquid off your face with a clean tissue.
  9. Wash any extra eye drop medication off your hands.

If you are taking more than one type of eye drop medication, wait at least a few minutes before putting the second medication into your eye. Eyes need a bit of recovery time in between drops.

When to Use Eye Drops

Some people, especially those who use contact lenses, need to use eye drops regularly to prevent dryness and help their eyes cope with constant contact lens use. Other people may use eye drops regularly for allergies or other eye conditions, such as glaucoma.

Glaucoma is an eye disorder characterized by internal eye pressure that can damage the eye’s optic nerve. Many people with this disorder prefer to use specialized eye drops rather than undergo surgery. Some people, however, are not good candidates for eye drops as glaucoma treatment, so you’ll want to consult with your doctor before beginning this type of treatment. There are many types of eye drops for glaucoma, each containing different active ingredients.

The basic rule with eye drops is to follow your doctor’s instructions as to the frequency of use, especially if the drops are medicated. Because over-use of eye drops can be harmful to your eyes, follow the dosage recommendations provided by your doctor or pharmacist.

Many over-the-counter eye drops are safe for everyday use. Just as with medicated eye drops, only use the over-the-counter varieties according to the instructions on the package. Overusing over-the-counter eye drops may indicate that your condition is more serious. See your doctor if over-the-counter eye drops are not helping your symptoms enough, as he or she may be able to prescribe a more powerful eye drop for your condition.

Resources

Haddrill, M. (n.d.). Glaucoma treatment: Eye drops and other medications. Retrieved April 7, 2010, from the All About Vision Web site: http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/glaucoma-3-treatment.htm.

Safe Medication Staff. (2001). How to use eyedrops properly. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from the Safe Medication Web site: http://www.safemedication.com/Administer/EyeDrops.pdf.