Eye drops explained: which one to use and how to apply them

Eye drops explained: which one to use and how to apply them

Thursday, 12 September 2019
Eye drops explained: which one to use and how to apply them

We’ll explain what eye drops are, how they can be used and what type will best suit you.

Eye drops are a great way to keep your eyes hydrated, especially if you have dry eyes, wear contact lenses or spend a lot of time starting at screens. This handy lubricant has the power to relieve dry, tired eyes and encourage them to produce tears, keeping them lubricated and more comfortable.

 

How to put in eye drops

 

Applying eye drops can be a challenge, but if you follow these 5 simple steps you'll be a pro in no time.

  1. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and dry them
  2. Using your non-dominant hand, pull the lower eyelid down until you form a pocket (this will help catch the drops) and tilt your head back
  3. Holding the bottle in your dominant hand, line the bottle up until it’s directly above your eye (but not too close)
  4. Gently squeeze the bottle to release a drop
  5. Close the eye for 60 seconds to let the eye absorb the drop, gently press the tear duct in the corner of the eye with a finger to prevent leakage.

 

 

What kind of eye drops are there?

 

Dry eyes

 

Eye drops for dry eyes have components that are already naturally occurring in your eyes to encourage more tears. This process helps the eyes to naturally keep themselves more hydrated. Our top pick for dry eyes are the comfi eye drops. These drops are designed for contact lens wearers. The high levels of sodium hyaluronate (HA) helps your natural tears to stay on the surface of your eyes, providing long-lasting hydration.

 

Another option for those with dry eyes are the Blink Intensive Tears Vials. These one-use vials are ideal for travelling and mean you don’t have to commit to using the whole bottle as you would with a larger size. If you suffer from dry eyes every now and again, this might be a better option for you.

 

Red eyes

 

Eye drops for red eyes are known as decongestants. A decongestant will help to eliminate redness by reducing the size of blood vessels in the eyes, making them appear whiter. These types of drops aren’t suitable for everyone, if you have Glaucoma, using drops for redness could make your symptoms worse. It is highly advisable that you speak with your optician if you have any type of eye condition before using eye drops.

 

close up of an eye

Allergies

 

Eye drops for allergies such as hay fever contain antihistamine to soothe irritated eyes. These are available at your local pharmacy or via prescription from your GP. Read our other tips for coping with hay fever to see how else you can defend yourself throughout the pollen season.

 

Alternatives to eye drops

 

You could also use lid wipes as an alternative to eye drops. These are more convenient when on the go for quickly removing dirt from the eye area. These lid wipes are suitable for sensitive eyes and can be used by both children and adults, making them perfect for families too. Another alternative is the Blink Refreshing Hydrating Eye Mist. Using a mist is a quick and efficient way of giving your eyes a quick burst of moisture throughout the day.

 

Do I need eye drops for contact lenses?

 

There are specific eye drops for using with contact lenses which are commonly called rewetting drops. Using rewetting drops with your contact lenses can help keep your eyes clean and hydrated throughout the day. Most drops are designed to be used with your contact lenses, however it's best to always check the label to see if the product is suitable for using with contact lenses or not.

 

 

 

a woman holding her face in pain


Is it okay to use expired eye drops?

 

There will always be an expiration date on the packaging, if the date on the packet has passed then do not use the product. The ingredients in eye drops are active and will start to lose their potency as soon as they're opened, so it's best to use the product as soon as possible once purchased. Use the product within 28 days of opening, after that period the product can breed bacteria and become dangerous.

 

Why can I taste my eye drops?

 

You may have a strange taste in your mouth after using eye drops. This is because any liquid that goes into your eyes will travel down a tiny hole within the eyelid that connects to the nose and mouth. It’s nothing to be alarmed about! If you press the tear duct (on the inner corner of the eye) as you apply the drops, this should prevent the solution leaking into the nose and mouth.

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