November 5, 2021
2 min. read

How to Instill Eye Drops


The timing and dosage of your eye drops can make a big difference in your treatment. Watch our video or read below to learn how to use your drops correctly.

The timing and dosage of your eye drops can make a big difference in your treatment. Whether you are using eye drops for glaucoma, dry eyes, eye infection or allergies, you must use the drops correctly to get the full benefit. Some eye drops have special instructions such as shake well before use. If you need to take more than one type of eye drop at a time, wait at least 5 to 10 minutes to put a second medication in your eye. If administering a gel, wait 10 minutes after the other medication.

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Remember to use your drops exactly when and how your doctor tells you to.

How do I prepare to use eye drops?

Always wash your hands before handling your eye drops or touching your eyes. If you’re wearing contact lenses, take them out — unless your ophthalmologist has told you to leave them in. Remove the cap of the eye drop medication but do not touch the dropper tip. If you do, the dropper tip could pick up bacteria from your fingers and could cause contamination.

How do I administer eye drops?

Follow below to administer eye drops correctly:

  • Tilt your head back slightly and look up. Some people find it helpful to focus on a specific point on the ceiling.
  • Use one hand to pull your lower eyelid down, away from the eye. This forms a pocket to catch the drop.
  • Hold the dropper tip directly over the eyelid and squeeze the bottle gently and let the eye drop fall into the pocket.
  • Once the correct number of drops have been administered, close your eyes and don’t blink.

If any drops leak out, use a tissue to wipe them from your closed eyelids.

Some eye drops such as those used for glaucoma patients require you to perform punctal occlusion. This is the process of keeping your tear duct closed to prevent medication from going down into your nose and into your bloodstream.

Apply gentle but firm pressure to your tear ducts, where the eyelid meets the nose. Hold the tear ducts closed for a minute or two—or as long as your ophthalmologist recommends—before opening your eyes. This will give the drop time to be absorbed by the eye.

After administering your drops, wash your hands again to remove any medication residue, and you’re all done.

If you have any questions or concerns, visit or the Medly mobile app to speak to a Medly pharmacist

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