Once you've had your cataract surgery, you'll be given some eye drops to administer at home. It's important to use these drops as instructed – they help your eye heal quickly and effectively. It's not always easy to get eye drops in successfully, however. Your first reaction to a drop approaching your eye may be to blink which defeats the object. What's the best way to get drops in your eye and not all over the rest of your face?
Create Space for the Drop
If you try to just squirt an eye drop straight at your eye, you'll probably just blink. This is a natural reaction to protect your eye from harm. Standing up straight also doesn't help, as the drop may just run out of your eye. For effective results, follow these steps:
- Decide whether you want to stand or sit. If you want to look in your bathroom mirror for guidance, then you'll probably have to stand. However, you may find it easier to administer eye drops if you're sitting down and relaxed. While some people find it useful to look in a mirror, this isn't necessary.
- Open your eye drop bottle, so it's ready to use.
- Pull the bottom of your eyelid down. This creates a space under the eye for the drop. Use your non-dominant hand. So, if you're right-handed, use your left hand; if you're left-handed use your right hand. It's easier to control the dropper with the hand you use most.
- Tilt your head back a little. It's easier to put eye drops in if you're dropping them down straight into your eye.
- Pick up the eye dropper and look up at the ceiling. Guide the dropper to the pulled-down area inside your eyelid and squeeze in the drops.
- Close your eye for a minute or so to let the drops settle around your eye.
Get Help if You Need it
If you still find it hard to get your eye drops in effectively, say if your hands shake too much or you can't keep your eye open and get the drops in, then ask someone to help you out. It's far easier to put eye drops in for someone else. If you don't have anyone at home who can help, then ask friends or neighbours if you can pop round with your drops when you need them put in.
If you can't find anyone to help you out, then contact the team who did your surgery. Eye nurses may have other tips to make sure you get your eye drops in.