Comm Eye Health South Asia Vol. 36 No. 118 2023 pp 16. Published online 01 August 2023.

Key community eye health messages

Photo: Aravind eye system, India CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
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Before the patient leaves the clinic, ensure that they

• Have the correct number and type of medicines.

• Know how to safely manage their medication, including storing it properly, checking expiry dates, understanding the duration of treatment, and avoiding contamination of the medicines.

• Know how to administer their medicines correctly.

Common mistakes to avoid while instilling eye drops

• Retracting the upper lid instead of the lower lid. This can result in eye drops spilling over the eyeball, and the amount of medication that reaches the eye will be insufficient, leading to inadequate dosage for the patient.

• Retracting the lower lid but instilling more than one drop at a time. Patients may do this if they are not sure whether the first drop has gone in.

•Not allowing enough time between two different eye medications. The second eye drop formulation may “wash away” the first one out of the eye before it is fully absorbed. Consecutively, we may not see improvement, even after instilling medicine.

Photo:  RP Centre, AIIMS DELHI, INDIA  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

To avoid eye infections

• Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before touching your eyes or instilling eye drops

• Do not touch the tip of the dropper bottle.

• If the dropper bottle lid or ointment cap falls on the ground, pick it up immediately and clean it using a sterile alcohol swab before putting the lid back on.

• When working with chemicals, dust, or other potential irritants, wear protective goggles or glasses to prevent foreign objects or substances from entering your eyes.