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How to Use Eye Ointments and Gels

How to Use Eye Ointments and Gels

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye or anything else; the tube tip must be kept clean.
  3. Holding the tube between your thumb and forefinger, place it as near to your eyelid as possible without touching it.
  4. Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
  5. Tilt your head backward slightly.
  6. With your index finger, pull the lower eyelid down to form a pocket.
  7. Squeeze a 1/4- to 1/2-inch (0.6- to 1.25-centimeter) ribbon of ointment or gel into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
  8. Blink your eye slowly; then gently close your eye for 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. With a tissue, wipe any excess ointment or gel from the eyelids and lashes. With another clean tissue, wipe the tip of the tube clean.
  10. Replace and tighten the cap right away.
  11. Wash your hands to remove any medication.
  12. Your vision may be blurry for a short amount of time after using the eye ointment. Wait until you can see normally before you drive or do other activities that require good vision.

Adapted, with permission, from the Michigan Pharmacists Association's Patient Education Program. Illustration reproduced, with permission, from the Atlas of Primary Eyecare Procedures, Appleton Lange, Norwalk, CT, 1997.


This report on medications is for your information only, and is not considered individual patient advice. Because of the changing nature of drug information, please consult your physician or pharmacist about specific clinical use.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® represents that the information provided hereunder was formulated with a reasonable standard of care, and in conformity with professional standards in the field. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to such information and specifically disclaims all such warranties. Users are advised that decisions regarding drug therapy are complex medical decisions requiring the independent, informed decision of an appropriate health care professional, and the information is provided for informational purposes only. The entire monograph for a drug should be reviewed for a thorough understanding of the drug's actions, uses and side effects. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® does not endorse or recommend the use of any drug. The information is not a substitute for medical care.

Pronunciation Guide for Drug Names is used with permission. © 2009. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. All Rights Reserved.

AHFS® Patient Medication Information™. © Copyright, 2020. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists®, 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.