Eye Drop Safety

True or false? Eye-drops can’t be misused or applied incorrectly.

Though it may be a surprise to some, this is false! Eye drops are a medication, after all. Below are some do’s and don’ts for eye drops you should follow.


  • Wash your hands before touching your eye/applying drops
  • Check the expiration date before using. For prescription eye drops, talk to your pharmacist.
  • Keep track of dosages. Overusing drops, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can impact treatment.
  • Remove contact lenses before applying drops. Keeping contacts in can interfere with the absorption of the drop.
  • Aim for the outer part of your eye when applying drops.
  • Blink normally. If you feel you can’t help but blink, keep your eye closed for at least 30 seconds.


  • Share eye drops with a friend.
  • Let the tip of the bottle come in contact with your eye/eye lashes. Bacteria can spread and contaminate the drops (another reason you shouldn’t share with a friend!).
  • Focus on the tip of the bottle when applying the drops. Instead, focus your eye on something further in the distance.
  • Apply several drops at a time. Once you’re sure you successfully applied a drop to your eye, wait until your next dose to add more. Adding too many drops at once is wasteful, and can cause more issues.
  • Mix multiple types of eye drops. If you’re using two different types of eye drops, it is important to stagger applications. You should wait a minimum of 30 minutes before applying a second type of eye drop.
  • Self-diagnose. A red, itchy eye could be caused by allergies or it could be pink eye. Before you start treating a problem with eye drops, consult with an eye doctor.

The information contained above is intended to be educational in nature, does not constitute medical advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care or treatment. If you have any vision, dental or other health related concerns, VBA encourages you to immediately contact your optometrist/ophthalmologist, dentist/orthodontist or any other competent, licensed, medical professional.