Spring is almost here, and unfortunately, so is all of the pollen that comes with it. For many of us, that means eyes that are constantly burning, itching, swollen, and watery. Often times, the most we can do for relief is reach for our preferred brand of eye drops in an effort to soothe the discomfort. Don’t be fooled, while it seems like an easy enough task, many don’t realize that they’ve been doing it wrong for years. Here’s a step by step list of the “right” way to use drops.
- Before you do anything, wash your hands.
Your hands harbor countless germs, bacteria, and microbes that can wreak havoc on your eyes. Skip the eye infection, and take just a few seconds to wash and rinse thoroughly.
- Contact lenses can be affected by eye drops.
Unless you are using contact solution eye drops, chances are your contacts will become clumped up or cloudy from the eye lubricant. Be sure to remove your contacts before applying. This is also one of the many reasons you should consider LASIK from Dr. Carter in Dallas, Texas!
- Carefully remove the lid without touching the tip of the dropper.
Even after washing your hands it is wise to exercise caution. You can never be too careful when it comes to eye health.
- Focus on a point above you.
Look at a speck on the ceiling and concentrate on keeping your eye still and open.
- Gently pull down your lower eyelid.
This is the part where the most common mistake is made. Usually, people will just do their best to get the drop in the eye, spilling and splashing the solution all over their eyelids. This also risks infection, as foreign material and infectants could reside on the skin around the eye. Pulling down on the bottom lid creates a larger target without compromising accuracy by getting your own hand in the way.
- Stabilize your hand on your forehead.
This will help stop any random movements that cause you to sway off target.
- Do not let the applicator touch any part of your face during the process.
You will want to hold it close to your face, but if it touches it can compromise the sanitation of the dropper.
- Apply only one drop at a time.
Just like partially missing with the drop, flooding the eye with too much solution can cause unwanted contaminants to flow back in. After applying the drop, do your best not to blink so that you can fully absorb it, and wait about 5 minutes before applying another (if needed).
- Replace the cap carefully.
Again, you do not want to introduce bacteria to the tip or the contents of the bottle.
Another way to get ready for spring is to schedule your yearly exam. Start the season off right by making sure your eyes are as healthy as possible!