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WK10DQ: INFORMATION TO PATIENTS INSTILLING OPHTHALMIC DROPS AND OINTMENT

Eye drops and ointments have remained the most popular ophthalmic drugs, with the topical route being preferred because of effectiveness and safety. One of the most important elements in the administration of drops is ensuring the highest degree of hygiene, as any compromised state exposes the eye to new infections. Literature supports the optometric concern, where manual contacts are responsible for the biggest proportion of eye disease (Carnt et al., 2011).

While eye drops are primarily absorbed through the cornea, the process can also take place through the conjunctival mucosa, raising concerns over systemic reactions. The safety issue calls for paying attention to detail, where only one drop should be applied per instillation. Similarly, the bottle should be well shaken and the drop should be directed to the lower conjunctival fornix. One should close the eye for two minutes after administration. Another way of minimizing systemic effects is gently pressing the tear duct against the nose when the eye is closed, and wiping excess solution.

Unlike drops, ointments have a prolonged contact time, and the application is less frequent. The apparent advantage of a sustained concentration makes them ideal for night use. However, it is not used with contact lens. Hygiene should also be observed while the dosage should be a little ointment inside the lower eyelid. The application should be followed by blinking to help the ointment spread, as the administration is characterized by short-term blurring. The eye should also be wiped clean every time before instillation.

In case when the patient is a child or geriatric, the instillation is similar to the one done by adults. The only special instruction is handling, where one should seek the help from a third party while toddlers should be wrapped. The administration should be executed when the head is tilted backward or in a supine position, with eyes closed. The drop should be directed on the side closest to the nose. The application should subsequently be followed by eyelid rubbing to allow the drug bathe the eye (Mason & Stevens, 2010).

References

Carnt, N., Keay, L., Willcox, M., Evans, V., & Stapleton, F. (2011). Higher risk taking propensity of contact lens wearers is associated with less compliance. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, 34(5), 202-206.

Mason, I., & Stevens, S. (2010). Instilling eye drops and ointment in a baby or young child. Community Eye Health, 23(72), 15.

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