Tips and Tricks for Applying Eye Drops

People need eye drops for many reasons for example, to treat an eye infection, manage diseases like glaucoma or relieve the discomfort of dry eye.

Unfortunately, using eye drops is tricky, and it is not uncommon to have difficulty applying them. Using eye drops improperly defeats the purpose and is a waste of money.

If you struggle to properly apply eye drops, the team at Bochner Eye Institute wants to share a few helpful tips and tricks.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Putting in Eye Drops

First, wash your hands with soap and water. Remove contact lenses if you are wearing them (except if you are using drops specifically formulated for use with contacts, or your doctor has advised otherwise).

Lie down on your back or tilt your head back, looking up at the ceiling. Gently pull down on your lower eyelid to increase the amount of eyeball showing. Hold the dropper in a vertical position about an inch from your eyeball. Lightly squeeze the bottle inside your lower lid until you see or feel one drop hit your eye.

Gently close your eyes once and tilt your head back, trying not to blink. Lightly press the pad of your most sensitive finger at the inner corner of your eyelid, by your nose. Keep the pressure there for about two minutes to allow the drop to completely penetrate the surface of your eye.

If you need to use more than one eye drop, repeat the process a few minutes later.


  • Don’t let the dropper touch your eye, as this can transfer bacteria to the bottle tip.
  • Avoid wiping down the bottle tip, as it could contaminate the drops.
  • If you need to steady your hand while holding the dropper, rest your hand on your forehead for support.
  • Use a clean tissue to wipe away any drops that accidentally spill onto your eyelids or face.
  • If you feel unsure or uncomfortable with putting drops in, practice with artificial tears. Look for a preservative-free product designed for mild dry eye.

Contact Bochner Eye Institute

If you have questions about using eye drops prescribed by our team, don’t hesitate to call or email Bochner Eye Institute. We are happy to help.