A healthy eye-care routine sometimes calls for eye drops to help fight infection, promote healing, or simply to provide hydration and comfort for dry, tired eyes. Most drops are designed to take effect immediately upon contact with the eyeball, hence the benefit of applying them topically, as opposed to orally prescribed medications.
But applying drops is not without its hassles. Many people find applying drops uncomfortable, or even impossible, and there is usually some slight mess associated with the process. Let’s break it down, and find out more about the types of eye drops, their benefits, and strategies for easy application.
Your eye doctor or pharmacist may have prescribed pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drops for you to help with glaucoma, conjunctivitis, chronic dry eyes, or a number of other conditions. Glaucoma treatment may require the use of more than one type of eye drops, and if this is the case, be sure to pay attention to your provider’s instructions for use, as there may be a necessary order in which you will need to apply the drops, or at a certain time(s) of day.
Conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye) is a bacterial infection that is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops. You’ll be cautioned by your eye-care practitioner to avoid wearing contact lenses while your eyes fight this common infection.
Discomfort caused by seasonal allergies can often be eliminated with antihistamine allergy eye drops. Pollen, dust, and pet dander can also lead to itchy, red, and watery eyes. Your pharmacist can recommend appropriate eye drops for itchy eyes, redness, or other symptoms without a prescription.
Computer vision syndrome, or dry eyes caused by excessive screen time, seems unavoidable in today’s world, as most of us are attached to our smartphones, tablets, and work computers. For anyone who seems to spend most of their waking hours looking at digital screens, lubricating eye drops for dry eyes or artificial tears can help. Ask your optician for a recommendation, and then it’s often handy to keep a bottle of drops wherever you may need them – at your workstation, in the car, in your handbag or gym bag, etc. Among the best eye drops for these symptoms are Gelone lubricating and rewetting drops and Biotrue rewetting drops.
If you are still struggling with how to apply eye drops, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people find this challenging, but there are strategies to make it a little easier and more comfortable.
First, practice makes perfect! If you’ve been prescribed medicinal drops, you’ll want to get the hang of it quickly so you don’t waste any product and delay your recovery and healing. Try to practice with some over-the-counter artificial tears. You can practice your technique, aim, and dispensing method without overmedicating or wasting expensive pharmaceutical drops.
Some people also find it more comfortable to apply eye drops while lying down, instead of simply tilting the head back.
And, use other tools at your disposal – a mirror or a friend. A mirror makes application a bit easier for some people, although it may be more difficult to maintain the angled head position necessary. If you find you cannot do it on your own, enlist a friend to either insert the drops for you, or help guide your hand as you get into position.
Wriggling toddlers and children sometimes don’t make for the easiest patients, and as a parent, this can make caring for your kids’ eyes challenging. If your little ones are averse to eye drops, try these methods to make sure they get the remedy and relief they need.
An alternative method, although perhaps not the most effective one, is to apply eye drops into the inner corners of your child’s closed eyes while he is lying on his back. When he opens his eyes, most of the drops should run into the eyes. Ask your family’s eye-care provider for advice, if necessary.