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This brochure is designed to give a general overview on eye drops and how to administer them properly. It is useful for patients with glaucoma and other eye conditions.

The journey of an eye drop

A considerable amount of any eye drop you instill drains from the eye down the tear duct to the nose and then the throat, eventually absorbing directly into the blood. Depending on the medication being used, this can result in side effects such as: shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, heart palpitations or even an asthma attack.

To minimize the risk of side effects, after instilling eye drops, gently press your index finger over the drainage canal openings with your eyes closed. These simple actions will reduce absorption into the blood by about two-thirds.

Important details about eye drops

  • Eye drops are sterile (free from bacteria) before the bottle top is opened.
  • Only administer one drop at a time. The eye can only hold the volume of less than one drop, so some will spill.
  • If you taste the eye drop, you are not blocking your tear duct properly.
  • Eye drops are a combination of medical drugs and preservatives, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • Always store your eye drops at a cool constant temperature and away from direct sunlight.

Applying eye drops

  • 1Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • 2You can choose to carry out the next steps standing up, sitting comfortably or lying down.
  • 3Carefully remove the cap of the eye drop bottle; ensure that the tip doesn’t touch anything.
  • 4Tilt your head back (not required if lying down) and look up.
  • 5Gently pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to form a pocket (or pouch).
  • 6Position the tip of the bottle directly over this region. Hold the bottle as vertically as possible.
  • 7Gently squeeze the bottle. Try to allow only one drop to fall onto the inside of the lower eyelid.
  • 8Look down, then release the eyelid and close your eye without blinking or squeezing the eyelid or rolling the eye around.
  • 9Press the tip of your index finger against the inside corner of the closed eye, applying gentle pressure over the drainage canal openings and hold gently for at least two minutes.
  • 10Gently wipe off any excess medication that may have spilt onto your face with a clean disposable tissue or cotton makeup pad.
  • 11Repeat step 4 to 10 if you need to instill an eye drop in the opposite eye.
  • 12If you have a number of different eye drops to administer, leave at least 5 – 10 minutes between each different drop.

Helpful tips

  • Ask your nurse or doctor to watch you apply your eye drops to make sure you are doing it right.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse why you need the eye drops, what are the possible side effects, and when to contact your doctor.
  • Do not wear contact lenses while using eye drops or ointments unless your doctor instructs you to do so.
  • If your doctor has ordered eye drops and eye ointment, apply the eye drops before applying the ointment.
  • Make sure you use the correct eye drops — ask for help if you need it.
  • Avoid touching the eye bottle tip with your fingers or touching your eye, eyelashes or eyelid.
  • Turn the bottle upside-down quickly to keep drops from leaking out.
  • You may find it easier to apply your eye drops in front of a mirror or lying flat on your back.
  • Point your fingernail away from your eye, to prevent scratching your eye.
  • Open both eyes and focus on the ceiling to avoid blinking.
  • Avoid squeezing or blinking your eyes after applying eye drops.
  • To blot excess eye drops from the eyes, use a separate and clean tissue for each eye.
  • Wait at least 2 - 5 minutes between applying each drop of the same eye medication.
  • If you have more than one eye medications, wait for at least 5 minutes between using different eye drops.
  • Please review your specific medication instructions.

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  •  Address : Cay Hill, St Maarten

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