If a recent retinal exam revealed symptoms of glaucoma, then there's a good chance your ophthalmologist has prescribed at least one type of eye drop to help you manage the symptoms. However, if you're not used to instilling eye drops, the idea of forcing liquid medication into your eye socket can be understandably unpleasant. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to make the process easier; with enough practice, you'll be able to administer glaucoma eye drops without second thought.
DO Practice With Your Ophthalmologist
When you're first prescribed the eye drops, your ophthalmologist will likely demonstrate the best way to administer them to each eye for you. However, if you feel uncomfortable with attempting it yourself or are worried that you won't be able to replicate your doctors instructions, consider asking your ophthalmologist if you can practice in front of him or her. Instead of the prescribed eye drops, you can use artificial tears while you practice. Most ophthalmologists will be happy to observe and provide tips for better eye drop administering methods, which can help give you more confidence when it comes to doing it at home.
DO Prevent Burning With Artificial Tears
Some glaucoma eye drops are known for causing a temporary but unpleasant burning sensations when they're first administered. This is especially common among glaucoma eye drops that need to be instilled twice within a few minutes. To help avoid this burning sensation, you may want to consider picking up some preservative-free artificial tears (if you haven't done so already) which can be used before your prescription eye drops to help reduce burning or discomfort.
DON'T Overlook Cleanliness
Above all else, it's important to make sure that not only your hands are clear, but that the tip of the eye drop bottle is kept sanitized as well. All too often, the cleanliness of the bottle itself is overlooked. Avoid contaminating the tip of the bottle by keeping it in a clean place, such as a medicine cabinet. Don't store your eye drop bottle in your pockets, toss it into a purse, or leave it in your car. Take measures to sterilize the tip of the bottle occasionally by wiping it down with an alcohol pad.
Getting used to using glaucoma eye drops will take some time, but by keeping this advice in mind, you'll be accustomed to it quickly. Consult with an eye doctor, such as those at Forest Hills Retina Center, if you have further concerns about your glaucoma medication.