How to use eyedrops

Picture of putting in eyedrops

Inserting eyedrops, when prescribed

  • For older children and adults, pull the lower eyelid down with one or two fingers to create a little pouch. Insert the drops in the pouch. Close the eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the drops absorb.
  • For younger children, have the child lie down with the eyes closed. Place an eyedrop in the inner corner of the eye. When the eye opens, the drop will run in.

Take these safety precautions when using eyedrops:

  • Wear disposable medical gloves when you insert eyedrops into someone else's eyes. If gloves are not available, wash your hands thoroughly before and after inserting the drops. Even if you wore gloves, wash your hands after inserting eyedrops.
  • Be sure the dropper is clean and does not touch the eye, eyelid, lashes, or any surface.
  • If the dropper touches the eye, do not put the dropper back in the bottle. A new dropper can be purchased at a drugstore.
  • If you touch the bottle tip to the eye or the area around the eye, call your pharmacy and arrange to get another bottle of eye medicine.

Last Updated: December 6, 2009

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MPH, FRCSC, MD - Ophthalmology

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