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Fact sheet Fact sheet

Eye drops


Woman receiving eye drops

Eye drops are used to treat various eye conditions. There are several different kinds of eye drops, which have different ways of working. To make sure you get the maximum benefit from your eye drops, it is important to use them correctly.

Eye drops are a type of medication.

Before you start

  • Always check the label before using eye drops, and make sure they are the correct drops recommended by your doctor.
    – Some other substances, such as glue, are sold in similar-looking bottles to eye drops.
  • Carefully check the dosage instructions for each medication.
  • Check if you need to shake the bottle before using.
  • If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using eye drops.
  • Avoid touching your eye with the tip of the eye dropper/bottle.

How to use your eye drops

Always wash your hands before using eye dropsGently squeeze the bottle to administer one drop

Important points to note

  • As with all medications, keep your eye drops out of the reach of children.
  • Most eye drops should be stored in a cool, dry place. However, some types of drops (e.g. chloramphenicol) should be kept
    in the fridge, so be sure to check the label.
  • Do not keep or use eye drops beyond the printed expiry date.
  • If you develop a reaction or allergy to your eye drops, consult your doctor.
  • If you wear contact lenses, wait for at least 20 minutes after administering the drops before you put your lenses back in.
  • If you forget a dose of your eye drops, use them as soon as you remember. Then administer the next dose at the usual time.
  • If you have difficulty administering your eye drops, ask someone else to do it for you.

The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

Have a question?

IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.

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