Putting eye drops into your own eyes might possibly be one of the most challenging tasks. You tilt your head back or lie down, try to pry your eye open, line up your hand with the bottle, then your eye gets dry.
You blink, try to open it again, finally squeeze the dropper bottle, miss your eye ¬- only to start all over again. Half the bottle is on your cheek by the time you finally get half a drop in your eye!
What is the easiest way to get it in the eye? You still have to tilt your head back, but instead of dropping it like a bomb with the dropper 2 feet above your eye, pull your bottom lid down to create a small pocket between the eye and the inside of the eyelid.
Look up, and hold the dropper close to the outside corner of the pocket you’ve created. You can slip the drop in that corner without having to watch it fall toward your eye, which creates a blink reflex and causes you to miss.
The only thing to be careful of with this method is touching the tip to your eye, which could cause contamination.
For some people, this method might still be problematic. Many of our patients just don’t have the grip strength or dexterity, or maybe they have a hand tremor. They still have an exceedingly difficult time with drops.
An ophthalmologist out of New York has invented a small, low-tech device to assist patients with drop instillation. It reminds me of a sewing thimble. It’s made of medical grade silicone and slips over the tip of your finger.
The top of it has a small divot into which you place a drop of the solution you need to place in your eye. The drop is held in the silicone until you bring your finger to your eye.
As you bring your finger close to the top edge of your bottom eyelid, the drop is transferred to the ocular surface by capillary action.
I have no vested financial interest in this product whatsoever, but I have found it heartbreaking to hear patients stop using prescription eye drops for glaucoma or other medical conditions merely because instilling the drop is too cumbersome.
If you know or are a caretaker for someone in this situation, the device is called “Magic Touch Eye” and can be found online. For more information visit the website: magic-touch-eye.myshopify.com.
Caroline Bundrick, O.D. is an optometrist practicing at Darling Eye Center, with offices in Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island.