Whether it’s because of infection, injury, disease or dry eyes, the person you’re caring for might need help with their eye drops or ointments. If you’ve never given eye medication, it can seem a little scary. In this video, we’ll review how to give eye medication so you can feel more confident in helping with this task.
Whether it’s because of infection, injury, disease or dry eyes, the person you’re caring for might need help with their eye drops or ointments.
If you’ve never given eye medication, it can seem a little scary. In this video, we’ll review how to give eye medication so you can feel more confident in helping with this task.
Let’s try it!
To get started, you’ll need the eye drops or ointment ordered by their health care professional for the person you’re caring for
Eye drops are a thin liquid medication in a dropper bottle and eye ointment is thicker and oily.
You’ll also need a clean, warm, damp washcloth, some facial tissues, and disposable gloves
As always, start by washing your hands and help the person you’re caring for wash their hands too. It’s a good idea to wear gloves if you’re going to be coming in contact with blood or bodily fluids like eye drainage.
Using the warm damp cloth, clean their eye area, working from the inner corner to the outer corner of their eye.
If you’re cleaning both eyes, use a fresh part of the cloth for each eye to prevent spreading any infection or bacteria from one eye to the other.
Roll the eye drop bottle between your hands to mix the solution to avoid bubbles you could get if you shake the bottle
It’s easiest to put the drops in if the person you’re caring for is laying down, so have them lay in bed or on a couch.
Hold the dropper bottle with the hand you write with and with your other hand pull down gently on their lower eyelid or have them hold it if they can. This will create a small pocket between their eye and their lower lid.
Squeeze the bottle gently to release the prescribed number of drops into the pocket, making sure that you don’t touch their eye with the bottle. Count to 5 and then let go of their lower eyelid.
After they blink a few times, you can use the facial tissue to wipe up any excess drops or tears from their face.
If they use multiple eye drop medications, wait at least 5 minutes between medications or follow the pharmacist or manufacturer’s directions.
For eye ointment start by cleansing their eye the same way as before and pulling down their lower lid.
Next, squeeze a small ribbon of ointment along their lower lid from the inner corner of their eye to the outer corner of their eye.
Have the person you’re caring for close their eyes for about 30 seconds to give the medication time to dissolve. It’s normal for them to have blurry vision for a little while until the ointment is fully dissolved and spread out.
Use the tissue to wipe any tears or excess ointment from their face.
Reseal the medication and remove your gloves. You both can finish up by washing your hands.
Helping someone with eye medication can be overwhelming at first, but with some practice following these steps, you’ll be feeling more comfortable in no time.
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