About Eye Drops
Eye drops are used to administer different drugs in the eye(or both eyes). In some cases, eye drops don’t have to contain medications, andthese products are used to replace tears or to lubricate the eyes. Other eyedrops have some active substances to treat various eye conditions, such as dryeyes, dirt in the eyes, soreness or itching. Eye drops may contain: non-steroidalanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antihistamines, topical anesthetics, sympathomimetics,parasympathomimetics or parasympatholytics, but also some beta receptorblockers, prostaglandins or steroids.
Patients can differentiate classes of Eye drops according tothe color of the top of the eye drop bottle, so they won’t mistake dropsagainst allergies for artificial tear drops.
Even though there are less chances that eye drops will causeadverse effects than some tablets, these drugs can cause unwanted effects. Onceeye drops get into the blood, they are able to provoke certain side effects todifferent parts of the body and lead to headaches, dizziness or slow heart rate.Because of that, doctors advise pressing the inner corner of the eye for aminute or two after instilling the eye drops.
Using Eye Drops
Correct application of eye drops is crucial, especially forpatients suffering from serious medical conditions like glaucoma, but also foreveryone using any kind of eye drops.
The easiest way is to have someone else put eye drops intoyour eye(s), whether it is someone from your family or a partner. Also, bringyour eye drops to your next appointment at the doctor’s and he or she will showyou how to use eye drops properly.
However, for people using contacts or someone in need toapply eye drops for some time, it’s best to learn to do it yourself. You willneed a mirror and clean hands, so, before starting, wash your hands with soapand water and dry them off.
Remove the protective cap from the eye drop bottle andalways check to see if the dropper is not chipped or cracked. If it is – it shouldnot be used. Now, lie down or better tilt your head back. Holding the eye dropbottle with your index finger and the thumb, and resting remaining fingers onthe cheek, pull lightly the lower lid and create a pocket. Now, place one dropfrom the bottle to that eye pocket, without touching the eye. Close the eye gentlyfor a minute or two, to help the medication to be absorbed. Also, at the sametime block the tear duct, to avoid any side effects.
After that, replace and tighten the cap. Don’t wipe it orrinse it, and never touch anything with the dropper tip, because it’s not advisable.
Sometimes, if you need to place 2 drops of eye medication inthe eye, you should wait for 5 minutes after the first drop and then place thesecond drop in the eye.