How to use eye drops properly?

Common people who take eye drops for the first time realize that this is more tricky than they imagined. It may happen that they have not been sufficiently explained how to administer the drops perfectly. Older people, in particular, have problems dropping something in their eyes. Careful application is important for two reasons:

Sufficient effect: If the drops run out of the eye again, only part of the drug can take effect and the treatment is less effective.
Reduction of unwanted effects: If the eye is not closed properly after use, the drops may flow into the nasopharynx. If they are taken into the body through the mucous membrane, this can lead to more adverse consequences than the application alone on the eye. For example, beta-blockers used in glaucoma can affect the cardiovascular system and respiration.
If you are unsure how to use eye drops correctly, do not be afraid to ask the doctor. You can explain exactly how to proceed best.

  • Depending on the type of eye drops, there may be special features to the application that should be considered. Information about it can be obtained in the doctor’s office, the pharmacy or read it in the leaflet. As a rule, the following procedure is recommended:
  • Wash hands before use to prevent dirt or germs from getting in the eye.
  • Remove contact lenses and refit after 15 minutes at the earliest.
  • Tilt the head back and gently pull the lower lid down. Look up.
  • Hold the vial close to the eye, but without touching it.
  • Apply the drops to the lower edge of the eye, also without touching the eye.
  • Then release the eyelid and close your eyes (do not squat).
  • Lightly press the inner corner of the eye to prevent the drops from flowing into the nasopharynx.
  • Keep your eyes closed for about one to three minutes. The exact duration depends on the drug, information can be found in the leaflet.
  • Quietly try out whether it drops more easily when sitting or lying down.

Recommended use for eye drops

If more eye drops are used, it should take about ten minutes between administering the remedy. The ophthalmologist will tell you in which order the drops are best administered. It is important to pay attention to the durability of the drops. For many remedies, it is recommended to use them after opening within four weeks.


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