Many eye problems are treated with
eyedrops or eye ointments, and sometimes with both.
Even though drops and ointments are
widely used, many people don't know the best way to put them in. But with a
little preparation, you can comfortably and easily put drops or ointment in
your eyes or someone else's.
Take these safety precautions when you use eyedrops or
Sometimes eyedrops and eye ointments sting when you first
put them in. But the stinging should go away after a few moments. When you put
the medicine in your eye, you may also get a taste from it in your mouth. Or
you may feel the drops in your nose, and some of the medicine may come out
through your nose. These things are normal and will go away.
Eyedrops and eye ointments containing medicine can have side effects. Use
them exactly as directed. Make sure you understand the directions, and do not
use the drops or ointment longer or in larger amounts than your doctor tells
you to. This can hurt your eyes.
If your doctor prescribed one
type of eyedrop or eye ointment to treat one problem, do not use the same
medicine to treat a different problem.
Between doses, store the
drops or ointment as directed. This may mean keeping them in the
Do not save leftover drops or ointment.
I should touch the eyedropper or ointment tube onto
the eye or eyelid to make sure that the drops or ointment will go into the
It is important to be sure the dropper or tube
is clean and does not touch the eye, eyelid, lashes, or any surface to keep it
free from bacteria. If the dropper is separate and touches the eye, do not put
the dropper back in the bottle. Buy a new dropper at a drugstore.
Continue to Why?
Eyedrops or eye
ointments may be used to:
Some common problems treated with eyedrops or eye ointments
Eyedrops or eye ointments can be used to treat many
problems with the eyes, including allergies, dry eyes, iritis, glaucoma, and
Eyedrops or eye ointment can deliver medicine
directly to your eyes, keep your eyes moist and lubricated, and reduce or
relieve redness, itching, and watering.
Continue to How?
To use eyedrops, follow these
See a picture of
how to use eyedrops.
If you are using both eyedrops and eye ointment, put the eyedrop in at least 10 minutes before the ointment.
The method for inserting eye ointment is slightly different than for
inserting eyedrops. When using eye ointments, follow these tips:
See a picture of
how to use eye ointment.
Using a mirror may make it easier to see what
you are doing.
When I use an eye ointment, I may get some temporary
blurring of vision.
Eye ointment can cause some temporary blurring
Continue to Where?
For more information about
using eyedrops or eye ointment, talk to:
If you have questions about this information, take it
with you when you visit your doctor. You may want to mark areas or make notes
in the margins where you have questions.
Return to topic:
Dry Eye Syndrome
January 25, 2013
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
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