Eye drops have many uses—from relieving eye fatigue to treating serious conditions like glaucoma. But they can be messy (they tend to find their way to everywhere but their intended destination) and some varieties can sting. They can be very helpful, but using them is not a particularly pleasant experience.
Some eye drops require a prescription, while others are available over the counter. I’m sure your local drugstore has a large selection of OTC eye drops from which you can choose to treat a variety of eye ailments, but I hope you will be careful when it comes to self-diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing eye fatigue, redness or any other problem that you are tempted to treat yourself, I strongly encourage you to first consult your eye health care professional so any potential serious conditions can be ruled out.
If you are prescribed eye drops, here are a few tips to keep in mind to use them safely and effectively:
- Always wash your hands before and after you dispense them.
- You don’t want bacteria getting in your eyes, so make sure the dropper is clean and that it doesn’t touch your eye.
- Don’t share eye drops. Use only those that have been prescribed for you, or, if you are using OTC drops, don’t allow other family members to use them. This prevents both misadministration and contamination.
Here’s a handy resource that includes illustrations to show you how to use eye drops safely and effectively.