How to use eye drops

Once you have been using eye drops for a while you will no doubt develop your own techniques and it will become second nature.

However, when you are first facing the prospect of using eye drops regularly it can be daunting. These top tips from Cameron Graham the manufacturers of Opticare will help.

  1. Relax and take your time. 
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Remove cap from bottle and place cap to one side on a clean tissue. 
    Tilt your head backwards whilst sitting, standing or lying down and look up. Use your index finger and thumb to gently pull down your lower lid to form a pocket.
  4. Holding the dropper bottle as upright as possible, rest your hand against your nose to position the bottle. Squeeze the bottle and let one drop fall into the pocket.
  5. Slowly release the lower lid.
    If you are using a medical eye drops, keep the eye closed for around 2 minutes whilst applying light pressure with your index finger to the inside corner of your closed eye near the nose. This will keep the drops in contact with your eye but prevent them from getting into your bloodstream through your tear duct.

Accuracy can be a big issue with a river of drops running down your cheek but missing the eyes. It can help with aiming to place the bottle sideways held against the bridge of the nose or ask a friend to help initially.

If you struggle to keep you eyes open, drops can be applied to the inner corner of closed eyes before opening them and allowing the drops to run across the eyes as you blink.


Eye ointments are applied in the same way, by squeezing a small amount into the pocket formed when the eyelid is gently lowered. It should melt rapidly and blinking helps to spread it, but your vision may go blurred for a while.


Tips on how to insert eye drops

Using Eye Drops

How to use eye drops

This video is produced by the College of Optometrists and shows a step by step guide on how to use eye drops.

If you have any concerns about your eyes, contact your optometrist.

Top tips

Eye drops tips

This great video from Thea Pharmaceuticals helps explain two simple techniques which are especially useful if you are using products supplied in the easy to squeeze ABAK bottle.

This will help you keep your eyes hydrated and protected! 

Opticare dispenser

Opticare eye drop dispenser

This great video from the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is about the Opticare eye drop dispenser.

Opticare is a device for helping patients to position the eye drop bottle over the eye and is particularly good if one finds it difficult to squeeze the bottle. 

ComplEye device

ComplEye device

This great video from the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is about the ComplEye device.

ComplEye is designed for the HYLO and Hycosan ranges of multidose eye drops, to help with stable positioning over the eye.

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