How Do You Administer Eye Drops?

The eyes are an essential part of the central nervous system. It enables us to navigate our environment, see fine detail, interpret colour, and maintain our health and safety while performing everyday activities. However, little attention tends to be paid to the eyes or their surrounding structures until something goes wrong with them.

This blog will share knowledge on administering eye drops or ointments to treat acute or long-term eye conditions and the structures surrounding the eyes.

What are eye drops used for?

Eye drops can treat a range of eye problems. For instance, you may use prescription eye drops from your doctor to treat an infection, a minor eye injury, or a condition such as glaucoma. Or, you may use over-the-counter eye drops to relieve dry or red eyes.

Whatever reason you may have for using eye drops, it is essential to use them correctly. The proper technique helps the medication absorb into your eye so the drug can do its work.

What is the step-by-step guide to administering eye drops?

These instructions can help you put eye drops into your own eyes. If you have trouble putting drops into your eyes, ask a family member or friend to help you.

The following instructions can help you put eye drops into your own eyes:

  • Preparing
  • Gather your supplies
  • Sanitise your hands
  • Follow instructions on the bottle label
  • Ready the bottle and place it on a clean surface
  • Check the dropper tip and make sure it is clean. If it s dirty, buy another bottle.
  • Putting in the drops
  • Tilt your head back or lie down flat on your back. Pull your lower eyelid down with your finger.
  • Hold the bottle over your eye, with the dropper tip facing down. The dropper tip should be as close to your eye as possible without touching your eye.
  • Look up. Squeeze the bottle so that a single drop falls into the lower eyelid.
  • Close your eye gently and tilt your face toward the floor for two to three minutes. Avoid blinking, moving your eyeball, or squeezing your eyelids tightly shut.
  • While your eye is closed, use one finger to apply gentle pressure to the inside corner of the eye.
  • Use a tissue or other cloth to remove excess liquid around your eyes.
  • Finishing up
  • If you need to put a second eye drop into the same eye, wait at least five to 10 minutes.
  • Put the cap back on the bottle. Don’t touch the dropper tip or try to clean it.
  • Wash your hands to remove any medication that got on them.
  • Store the bottle as described on the label or by your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the dos’ and don'ts in administering eye drops?


  • Know how long can eye drops be safely used once you open the bottle. For prescription eye drops, ask your pharmacist about the expiration date. For over-the-counter drops, check the expiration date on the label.
  • When using two eye medications, they should be in the appropriate order. Using both an eye solution and an eye suspension, use the solution first. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you the difference between these medications. If you’re using eye drops and an ointment, use the eye drops first. Then apply the ointment at least 10 minutes later.
  • Do understand it’s normal for some liquid to flow onto the skin around your eyes after using an eye drop. And this does not mean you need another drop.


  • Don’t allow the dropper tip to touch your eye or any other surface. If the dropper tip touches any surface, it could pick up bacteria or other germs that could cause an infection in your eye.
  • Don’t wear contact lenses while applying medicated eye drops unless your doctor or pharmacist says it’s okay. Wait at least 15 minutes after using the drops before putting in contact lenses. You don't need to wait if you use moisturising eye drops with contacts.
  • Don’t share eye drops with another person. Sharing drops could spread germs and infections.

How to prevent administering incorrect use of eye drops?

When eye drops are not administered (used) correctly, they may not realise the medication’s full benefit.

Here are some ways to prevent the incorrect use of eye drops:

  • Check the label on your eye drop or ointment to see if refrigeration is necessary.
  • Always recap the bottle or tube immediately after use. Never wipe or rinse the tip of the dropper to avoid contamination.
  • Many eye medications cause a slight stinging sensation after instillation. Tell your doctor if this sensation lasts more than a minute or two.
  • Eye ointments cause a blurring of vision. And this is normal and should go away in a few minutes.
  • Never wear contact lenses while using eye drops or ointments unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
  • If you are told to use an eye drop and an eye ointment simultaneously, use the eye drop first, wait a few minutes, and then use the ointment.

What should be done after following all these steps?

To help your eye drops work well, follow these instructions and any directions from the eye drop label or your doctor or pharmacist. These steps should help you use your prescription or over-the-counter eye drops quickly and safely. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using your eye drops.

Where can I find online training courses and qualifications for administering eye drops?

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited statutory and mandatory training courses for all sectors, including health and social care, education, local government, private companies, charitable and third sector organisations.

Alternatively, you can contact our helpful Support Team byclicking hereto tell us your training courses and qualifications for administering eye drops.

Online training courses and qualifications about administering eye drops  

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How Do You Administer Eye Drops? - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

How Do You Administer Eye Drops? - The Mandatory Training Group UK.

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