Los Angeles, CA | Putting In Eyedrops | Opthalmology Associates of the Valley

Dr. Brad Elkins walks through how to correctly put eye drops in the eye.


Dr. Brad Elkins: Hi. This is Dr. Brad Elkins from Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley. I'm going to show you a couple of different techniques for putting eyedrops in your eye, and I'm also going to show you another technique to prevent you from tasting it in your throat after you put the drops in. Patients commonly ask, "What's the best way to put drops in their eye?" I have two good techniques here which will safely enable you to do it without touching the eye. Especially after LASIK surgery and even cataract surgery, we don't want patients touching their eye with their finger or with the eyedropper. The first technique is to have the patient lift their chin up so you're extending their neck and then have the patient look straight up behind their head. What that does is it prevents the patient from looking at the drop when it's coming near them.

Dr. Brad Elkins: Then what we do is I pull the lower lid down very firmly with my fingertip. I'm not touching the eye. I'm touching the bony socket here. Notice the cul-de-sac here, which is the opening, which is enabling me to get a bigger area to catch the drop. Now we just put the drop in so you can't see it yourself, and it goes in, and as soon as you fill it, you blink, it distributes across the eye evenly. Once again, the chin is up. The patient should look up at the ceiling, and this obviously works very well if you're doing it by yourself. You pull the lower lid down very firmly and this is exposing the lower lid cul-de-sac. You put the drop in there, and then you let go, you blink, the drop goes everywhere, and then you're done with that.

Dr. Brad Elkins: Now an alternative technique for very, very anxious patients is to just lie down on the couch or your bed, and with your eyes closed because you're scared of seeing the drop, just close your eyes now, and what we do is we just put a drop in the corner here between the eyelid and the nose and then just blink. You should feel it go into your eye itself. If it's not in the eye, close your eyes, put another drop in right in the corner there, open your eye and blink a few times. You can do the same thing on the other side. Once again, eyes closed, and you put the drop in the corner, you blink, it goes in. That's the second way to do it. That works better for very, very anxious patients who are scared of seeing the bottle or their finger coming at their eye.

Dr. Brad Elkins: The last thing I want to show you is how to prevent the medication from getting into your throat. Patients will commonly complain about it irritating their throat or feeling an awful taste. There's a canal system that connects your eyelids to your throat. If the patient just closes their eyes after you put the drop in, closing the eye prevents the eyelids from squeegeeing the drop into the sinuses. Then also, if you firmly push here on the corner, you're preventing the tears from escaping into the nasal passages and then into the throat. You firmly push here for about a minute with your eyes closed, and that will prevent the drop from getting into your nasal passages. Thank you.