Dr. Leigh Plowman Answers The Question: What Is the Best Way to Put In Eyedrops?

Feb 9, 2021 | Eye Health | 0 comments

Did you just get a prescription for eyedrops? Or have you used them for a long time? Ever have trouble getting them in your eyes? Or do they drip all over your face?

Your eyedrops may be for:

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to put in eyedrops better, use this helpful guide to help you succeed with your drops, and feel less stressed.

By Leigh Plowman, OD, member of Optometry Australia
Founder of
Dry Eye Directory

How to put in eyedrops

Before you get started: 

  • Read the instructions from your eye doctor or pharmacist (e.g. shake well before putting in drops). These instructions can make a difference between the eyedrop working or not.

  • Check the expiration date on the bottle too. Make sure you’re not just putting chemicals into your eyes (no medicine). 

  • Check the tip of the bottle (look for yellow/orange discoloration that show contamination)

How to put in eyedrops:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water. Especially wash your fingertips. This helps you avoid spreading germs to your eye or the eyedrop bottle.

  2. Lay your head back, lifting your chin up. It may be easier to recline your chair, or lay on a bed or sofa.

  3. Look up at the ceiling (or toward your eyebrows).

  4. Pick up your eyedrop bottle with your dominant hand.

  5. Use your other hand and index finger. Gently hold your bottom eyelid down. This ‘pocket’ helps you to catch the eyedrops in your eye.

  6. Rest the bottle near the bridge of your nose. Or rest part of your hand on your forehead. This way you are not free-floating the eyedrop bottle around in the air. So you are much less likely to miss.

  7. Keep the bottle tip a safe distance from the eye. This helps prevent contamination of the bottle.

  8. Look at the tip of the eyedrop bottle. Gently squeeze the bottle. One drop comes out.

  9. Close your eye. Gently wipe away the excess with a clean tissue.

  10. Your eye doctor may ask you to gently touch the corner of the eyelid near your nose for a short period of time (e.g. 30 seconds). This helps reduce drainage of your medication and unwanted side effects in your nose and body.

  11. Wash your hands to clear away any residue on your fingers

Common questions about putting drops in:

  • Can’t feel if the drop has gone in? Check with your eye doctor or pharmacist whether it is safe to refrigerate your eyedrops. A cool eyedrop is easier to feel if it has gone in properly.

  • Due to use two or more bottles of drops at the same time? Wait ten minutes in between using different drops. This helps prevent one drop from flushing out the other.

  • Use any eye ointments last, as these can prevent other drops from working.

  • Keep the bottle where you can see it easily at home (e.g. keep them in your bathroom near the mirror). That way you’re more likely to remember to use your eyedrops.

  • Hard to squeeze the eyedrop bottle? Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about devices that lock onto the bottle and make squeezing easy.

  • Wear contact lenses? Remove your lenses before putting drops in (unless your eye doctor or pharmacist recommends otherwise).

Are your eyedrops too big?

Do you use eyedrops regularly? Ever have to wipe your eye or face afterwards?

The problem is that these eyedrops are too big for your eye. Even if you put in eyedrops perfectly every time, you’re wasting eyedrops. 

Our eyes can hold around 10 microlitres of eye drops. However, most eyedrops are made to be over 32 to 48 microlitres in size. Some are up to 56 microlitres. If it spills out, it’s just wasted. The excess drop simply flushes away or evaporates.

This means that you’re wasting over half or two-thirds of your eyedrops. 

What about the cost of large eye drops? A bottle of prescription glaucoma medication may cost as much as $275.  Even if you get a drop in perfectly, you’re likely losing more than $132.50 per bottle due to waste. 

Are you looking to save money on your eyedrops?

Studies show that small eyedrops are equally effective than large eyedrops. Even the way you put drops in can effect how long your eyedrop bottle lasts.

Nanodropper is an adaptor that lets you get small eyedrops from a regular eye drop bottle. It allows you to get the perfect amount of eyedrop each time. You get to save money on expensive prescription eyedrops. 

Next time you wipe your eye after putting a drop in, think about how much of your medication is actually helping your eyes.

Learn more about the Nanodropper Adaptor and shop here now. Or pay-it-forward and donate to someone who struggles to afford eye drops. 

About Dr. Plowman

Dr. Leigh Plowman is a Private Practice Optometrist and Founder of Dry Eye Directory. Dry Eye Directory is a site that helps to educate people about dry eyes and connect them to a local dry eye expert. Learn more at dryeyedirectory.com.

Skip to content