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Using Eye Drops and Ointments
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Diane Callahan, RN, CRNO
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
October 15, 2002

What is the best way to put eye medication in my eye?
Eye medication can be applied very simply by following some basic instructions. Always wash your hands first. Shake the medication bottle if indicated on the label. Open the bottle or tube being careful that its tip does not touch anything. Pull your lower eyelid down with the tip of your finger and look up. Some people prefer to look in the mirror while doing this. Squeeze one DROP or 1/4 inch ribbon of ointment INTO the bottom lid, trying not to touch the lid with the tip of the bottle or tube. Close your eye gently to allow the medication to absorb. Residual ointment on your lids may be wiped away with a tissue. The bottle or tube should be re-capped. You should CHECK the label to see whether refrigeration is required between doses.

A slight stinging sensation may be present after using your medication. In addition, eye ointments will temporarily blur the vision. When using multiple medications, wait a few minutes between each application to ensure that the eye has time to absorb each. If your eye doctor has prescribed a combination of eye drops and ointments, and you are scheduled to put them in at the same time, always use the drops a few minutes before the ointment. This helps the eye DROP penetrate the eye without hinderance FROM a thick layer of ointment.

Should I clean my eyelids before using eye medications?
Cleaning the lids may be helpful if an accumulation of crusting or discharge is present. An effective way to do this is to wet a cotton ball with warm water and gently wipe the lid FROM the inner corner in an outward direction with the eye closed.
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The information and recommendations appearing on these pages are informational only and is not intended to be a basis for diagnosis, treatment or any other clinical application. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, the DJO suggests that you consult your physician.