How to use eye drops

Make a pouch under your eyelid. Put the drops into the pouch, not directly on your eye.
  • Follow any instructions your eye doctor gives you.
  • If you currently use eye drops, use them as directed.
  • Your nurse will give you several different eye drops after you arrive at Phillips Eye Institute for your surgery. The drops will make your pupil larger and help numb your eye.
  • You will likely receive new eye drop prescriptions after surgery. The Allina Health Phillips Eye Institute Pharmacy can fill these so you have them ready to go home with you.

To use eye drops, follow these directions:

  • Wash your hands well with soap and water.
  • Do not touch the dropper tip against your eye, skin or any other surface.
  • Tilt your head back and look up.
  • Pull down on your lower eyelid with your index finger. This will form a pocket into which you will put the eye drops.
  • With your other hand, hold the dropper tip down as close to your eye as you can without touching it. Brace your other fingers on your face.
  • Gently squeeze the dropper so the correct number of drops fall into the “pocket” on your lower eyelid.
  • Look down and close your eyelid for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Wipe off any extra liquid on your face with a tissue.
  • Do not wipe or rinse the dropper tip. Replace and tighten the cap.
  • Wash your hands.

Source: Phillips Eye Institute, Eye Surgery: What You Need to Know, eye-pei-27858 (5/17)
Reviewed By: Marge Watry, director of Patient Care and chief nursing officer, Phillips Eye Institute
First Published: 06/01/2006
Last Reviewed: 06/14/2017