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How To

Frequently Asked Questions

How To...

How to use eyedrops
How to apply eye ointment.
How to clean lid margins.
How to use warm compresses.
How to use cold compresses.
How to apply an eye bandage
How to use the Amsler grid

How to use eyedrops
The benzalkonium preservative found in most glaucoma drops stains soft contact lenses. Sometimes, other types of drops may also contain benzalkonium (check bottle or insert if you are wearing contact lenses). Remove contact lenses before instilling benzalkonium-containing drops. Wait at least 15 minutes before reinserting the lenses.

  • Wash hands.
  • Invert the closed bottle and shake once.
  • Sit down, lean back, tilt your head back, and look up toward your forehead.
  • With index finger pull down lower lid to make a pocket for the drop.
  • Hold bottle over the eye between thumb and index finger of the other hand. May rest one finger or thumb against bridge of nose or brow.
  • Do not touch the tip of the bottle with lid or finger.
  • Squeeze a single drop (extra drops won't hurt but are wasted).
  • Close the eye and press your index finger to the inner corner of the eye for 20-30 seconds to block the tear duct and prevent medication from draining away.

If you are using more than one kind of drops wait at least 2 minutes between drops (5 to 10 minutes is better).

To prevent contaminating the solution in the bottle, do not allow the tip to touch your hand, any other object or the eye. This is critical if you have an eye infection.


How to apply eye ointment.
Sit down with head thrown slightly back.
Pull down gently on the lower lid and look up.
Squeeze about half an inch bead in the lower lid sac (between eyeball and lid)
Look down and close the eye without squeezing hard.
Keep the eye closed for at least one minute; during this time (with the lids still closed) move the eyes by looking up and down several times to spread warmed ointment.


How to clean lid margins.
Prepare a solution of about 1 part baby shampoo and 3 parts warm tap water.
Dip a Q-tip in above solution and scrub lid margins to remove crusts and/or discharge.
Do not contaminate the solution by dipping into it an already used Q-tip.
Use a different Q-tip for the other eye.
Rinse face and lids with tap water.
Use warm compresses before lid scrubbing in stubborn cases.


How to use warm compresses.
Soak a washcloth in hot tap water and apply to closed eyelids.
The water should be as warm as is comfortable.
Do not make it so hot that it will burn the thin skin of the eyelids.
Excess heat will not improve results.
Heat must be comfortable and soothing.
Soak the washcloth again when it cools off.
Apply compresses for about 15 minutes; four or more times a day.


How to use cold compresses.
Place several ice cubes into a plastic bag and cover it with a washcloth. Apply for 15 to 20 minutes; four or more times a day.


How to apply an eye bandage
A single patch of gauze-covered cotton is usually sufficient. Occasionally, two to three may be needed. Apply the patch firmly enough to hold the lid in place against the eye. Press with several pieces of tape starting on the forehead and ending on the cheek (not cheek to forehead).


How to use the Amsler Grid.

  • Check the Amsler Grid daily (first thing in the morning is a convenient routine).
  • Hold Amsler grid at eye level (consider taping it to the bathroom medicine cabinet door).
  • If you wear reading glasses, put them on.
  • Cover one eye and focus on the center dot.
  • Check for any new wavy, broken or distorted lines or blurred or missing areas of vision.
  • If you notice a change, contact us immediately.

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