How to Increase the Effectiveness of Eye Drops
The correct application of eye drops will dramatically increase their effectiveness.
The correct way to insert eyedrops
There are several methods for getting drops into the eye. Following are the step-by-step instructions for inserting eye drops:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry them with a clean towel
- If you are putting in your own eye drop medicine, lie down or use a mirror
- Look up to the ceiling with both eyes
- While tilting your head back, pull the lower lid of your eye down with one hand. Usually the lower lid can be gripped and pulled out like a small pouch
- Hold the eye drops bottle or tube in your other hand (rest part of your hand on your forehead if necessary to keep it steady)
- Place one eye drop inside your lower lid. The tip of the medicine bottle should not touch your eye
- Blink and dab away the excess eye drop fluid with a tissue
- The eyes should then be closed gently
- While the eye is closed after each drop gentle pressure with one finger against the nose in the inner corner of the lids, for at least 2 minutes will help prevent the drops going down the tear ducts into the nose from where the drugs get into the bloodstream and cause side effects. Keeping the eye closed also increases the amount of drug getting into the eye simply by reducing the amount being lost down the tear duct
- Immediately after using the eye drops, wash your hands to remove any medication that may be left on them
Please note the following:
- If you are prescribed both eye drops and eye ointment, use the eye drops first. Apply the ointment in the same way as outlined above
- If you have more than one type of eye drop always wait at least five minutes between each type. Drops will be diluted or washed out if they are put i.n immediately after each other
- When instilling one drop and it is not felt it is best to refrigerate the bottle to assist with this
- Compliance is an important part of treatment
- Try to fit the drops into your lifestyle. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist your daily routine and link these with the drops
- Remember that allergies to medication may be the preservative
- Wait at least 15 minutes to place contact lenses in after inserting eye drops
- As with any medication, eye drops can affect your overall health as well as the health of your eyes. When eye drops are prescribed, make sure you know the name of the medicine and know how often you are to take the medicine.
- Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any uncomfortable or unusual symptoms when using the medication.
What would you use eye drops for?
Eye drops can be used for anything from sore eyes to preparations for diagnostic procedures. Non-presciption eye drops can be used to soothe and lubricate eyes, to decongestants.
Most people are exposed to several types of eye drops over their lifetime. The most common are nonprescription drops such as artificial tears and decongestant drops that "get the red out." Prescription eye drops may include antibiotics to treat or prevent bacterial eye infections, anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation, anti-allergy medications, and medicines for the treatment of glaucoma. Anti-allergy eye drops are the ones used during an examination and administered as a local anesthetic prior to a medical procedure.
What do prescription eye drops treat?
Some of the more common prescription eye drops are anti-allergy medications, steroids (corticosteroids), antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and drops to treat glaucoma.
- Anti-allergy medications are prescribed to decrease the effects of histamine, a chemical released by the body during an allergic reaction that results in itchy, watery, red eyes. Livostin, Patanol, Cromolyn, and Alomide are widely used anti-allergy prescription drugs
- Anti-inflammatories are used to reduce eye inflammation and fall generally into the categories of corticosteroids or nonsteroidals. If used improperly, corticosteroids can cause glaucoma or cataracts and may also increase the risk of eye infections. A common corticosteroid is prednisolone, and a common nonsteroidal eyedrop is diclofenac
- Antibiotics are normally used to treat bacterial eye infections. Common antibiotics used in treating eye problems are sulfacetamide, erythromycin, gentamicin, ofloxacin, tobramycin, and ciprofloxacin
- Antiviral eye drops are used primarily as a treatment of herpes virus eye infections and are often used in conjunction with other oral medications. The most commonly used antiviral drop is triflurthymidine
- Glaucoma eye drops are all designed to decrease excess pressure in the eye. The drops work by either decreasing the amount of fluid produced by the eye or by increasing the drainage of fluid from the eye. Because glaucoma can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve, resulting in serious and irreversible vision loss, it is extremely important for a patient to follow the doctor's directions regarding use of the drops.Glaucoma eye drops can produce a wide variety of side effects, but most patients prefer to tolerate these side effects rather than risk permanent damage to their vision. Side effects can include headaches, breathing difficulties, blurry vision, irregular heartbeat, depression, sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, and eye irritation.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed. In most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye. Damage progresses very slowly and destroys vision gradually, starting with the side vision.This damage is irreversible.Treatment cannot recover what is lost but it can slow down the damage process.
Over 300,00 Australians have glaucoma. It can occur at any age but as our population becomes older the proportion of glaucoma patients is increasing.
Those people who have higher risk of getting glaucoma are those with a family history, diabetes,migraine, short sightedness,blood pressure and those people with past or present use of cortisone drugs.People in these groups should have their first eye check no later than age 35. For most people it is recommended to have an eye check for glaucoma by the age of 40.
Treatments include eye drops and if these do not work laser and surgery can be performed. Some of the latest eye drops lower eye pressure by both reducing the amount of fluid getting into the eye and by helping the fluid to leave the eye.