Using Cataract Eye Drops medications prior to surgery:
One or more days prior to surgery, you may be asked to use antibiotic eye drops, and your eye doctor will instruct you in their use.
The drops are intended to kill any bacteria that could cause an infection.
Properly using prescribed eye drop medications before and after surgery is important to the success of your Cataract Surgery. If you’ve never used eye drops, it may take just a bit of practice to get them into your eye – the natural reflex is to blink to avoid the drops.
But it shouldn’t take you long to learn how to use them properly.
The goal is to have the drop land anywhere on the exterior surface of the eyeball, then gently close your eye.
Don’t blink. The medication will spread across the eyeball’s surface, and within a few minutes, will penetrate the Cornea to reach the eyes interior.
It is important not to blink too much after putting in eye drops.
Blinking pumps the eye drop medication from the eye surface toward the opening of the tear ducts.
To reduce blinking, gently close the eye without squeezing the lids for a least a minute after putting in the drop.
The eye drop will be effective if it lands on either the eyeball or the pinkish inside surface on the lower eyelid.
However, if the eye drop lands on the eyelid skin or on the lashes, you’ll have to try again.
Always wash your hands before using eye drops, Eye drop instillation is easiest if you either lie down or tilt you head back.
You need only one eye drop of medication for one dose.
Don’t worry if you accidentally apply several drops: it won’t harm the eye.
If you think you missed your eye, it’s okay to apply another drop.
For more than one type of eye drop medication allow three or more minutes between each type of medication.
While you’re first leaning to use your drops, you may want to refrigerate your eye drops.
This makes it easier to tell whether the drop lands on the eyeball. Some people rely on a spouse or other family member to help them with their cataract eye drops.
Even if you have this option it’s better if you learn to do it for yourself in case your helper isn’t available.
Using Cataract Eye Drops after Surgery:
After your surgery, you will have been given a schedule for using your cataract eye drops.
Anti-inflammatory eye drops will help decrease discomfort and light sensitivity and will speed healing.
Antibiotic drops will prevent infection.
These post surgery medications are usually continued for several weeks, and your doctor will give you instructions on when to taper or eliminate their use.
Note that it is common for the drops to cause some stinging, especially the first day or two.
If you wish, you can also take aspirin, Tylenol, or other over the counter pain relievers to help with any postoperative aching that isn’t relieved by eye drops or by taking a nap.
In most cases, you’re eye will feel much better by the next morning.
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