Using Eye Ointment

Topic Overview

Insert eye ointment (if prescribed) as follows:

  • For older children and adults, pull the lower eyelid down with one or two fingers to create a pouch. Put the ointment in the pouch. Close the eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the ointment absorb.
  • For younger children, ask the child to lie down with eyes closed. Pull the lower eyelid out to create a pouch. Put the ointment in the pouch. With the eyes closed, ask the child to move his or her eyeball from side to side to move the ointment around the eye.

Take the following safety precautions when using eye ointment:

  • Wash your hands well before and after inserting the ointment. If possible, wear disposable gloves when you insert ointment into someone else's eyes.
  • Be sure the tube tip is clean and does not touch the eye, eyelid, or any surface.
  • If the tube tip touches the eye or the area around the eye, call your pharmacy and arrange to get another tube of eye ointment.

The method for inserting eye ointment is slightly different than for inserting eyedrops.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Revised January 25, 2013

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