How to take your eye drops

By H. George Tanaka, MD, Glaucoma Specialist at The Eye Institute


1) Stand in front of a mirror or lie
down on your bed or sofa.


2) Use your finger to pull your lower
eyelid down.


3) Place only one drop of medication
on the pink area inside your eyelid.


4) Do the same for the other eye if
you’re using the drop in both eyes.


5) Close your eyes as long as your
doctor instructs.


6) With your thumb and index finger
gently press the tiny bumps in the
inside corners of your eyes near
your nose.


7) Take a deep breath and relax for
up to three minutes.


8) If you have to put in a second
medicine or a lubricating drop,
wait five minutes between drops
to avoid dilution.


By closing your eyes and pressing
the inside corners of your eyes, you
block the ducts that carry the eye
drops into your nasal passages. This
prevents your eye drops from getting
into the bloodstream and causing
side effects in the rest of your body.
This maneuver is called punctal
occlusion and should be performed
after every eye drop.



Remember one drop is more than
enough. If you feel the drop go in
your eye, it went in. Don’t put in extra
drops “for good measure!” Although
this probably won’t harm your eye,
you’re wasting the medicine. Some
patients store their drops in the
refrigerator to make them cold. That
way, when they put the drops in their
eyes, they can really feel if the drop
went in.