Question 1 : Q: The pharmacist said they can’t get my drops as there is a problem with the supply. What do I do?
A: You need to call the hospital switchboard and ask to speak to the eye secretary (or if you know the name of your consultant, ask for that consultant’s secretary) and explain the situation. The consultant should be able to prescribe you with an alternative drop to cover the treatment while you wait for your normal eye drops. If you cannot get through to any secretary ask to speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS) department or the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO), either of whom should be able to help you.
Question 2 : Q: I’ve been told my glaucoma is advanced and there’s nothing more they can do. Why can’t they operate to stop the progression?
A: When your glaucoma is advanced all the consultant can do is try their best to help save the vision that you have. Surgery wouldn’t be an option if your glaucoma is so advanced so there would be no benefit of having it done and it can sometimes affect the vision. Even if you feel your eye drops are not working, they are still controlling your eye pressure and helping you maintain the vision you have, so please carry on taking them as prescribed.
Question 3 : Q: Do I need to put my drops in at the same time each day? What if I forget?
A: Using your eye drops as prescribed is such an important factor in the treatment of glaucoma. Make sure you put your drops in as prescribed by your consultant. Put them in around the same time each day as much as you possibly can. A half hour either side of your normal time is OK but try not to do this too often.
If you usually put your drop in in the morning but you forget, pleased don’t worry. Putting your drop in an hour or so after your normal time will be fine, but go back to your normal routine the next day. If however you realise much later on in the day, it’s best to leave putting it in until the following day and carry on with your normal regime the following day. This will not affect your glaucoma as this will be a one off, but please don’t make it something that you do often.
If you find it difficult to remember whether you have put your drop in, there is a eye drop calendar available from Glaucoma UK. You can either download it from our website or call 01233 648170 and we will arrange to have one sent to you.
Question 4 : Q: I’ve been given a different brand of my eye drop and I can’t squeeze the bottle.
A: As long as you wash your hands thoroughly before putting your drops in, it’s fine to carry on as you’ve always done. If you want to you can wash your hands afterwards as well. Make sure you continue to practice punctal occlusion - putting your finger on the corner of your eye on your tear duct for at least one minute after putting your drop in. You may also find dispensing aids are helpful in reducing how much you touch your face – see our page on eye drops for more information.”
Question 5 : Q: I’ve just been given eye drops but they didn’t tell me how to put them in. Can you help?
A: Some people put their drops in standing in front of the mirror while others prefer to either sit down or lie down to put their drops in. With a little practice you'll find the best way that suits you. Please read the patient information leaflet which comes with the eye drops. It will advise you whether you need to shake the bottle or not before using.
If you’re standing in front of a mirror or sitting down:
Firstly it is important to wash your hands before you put your drops in. Shake the drops bottle if the information leaflet says you should do this. Find your most comfortable position and tip your head back slightly. Pull down the lower lid so that it forms a pocket and squeeze the drop into your eye. Close your eye and place your index finger on your tear duct (the part of your eye closest to the nose) and press gently for up to two minutes. Then repeat this on your other eye. Don’t worry if you feel the drops running down your cheek. This will be the excess drop. Just wipe it away with a clean tissue.
If you’re lying down:
Wash your hands, and shake the bottle if the instruction leaflet tells you to. While lying down, rest the drop bottle on the bridge of your nose so that the tip of the bottle is in line with the eye. Pull down the lower lid and put the drop in. Close your eye and place your index finger on your tear duct (the part of your eye closest to the nose) and press gently for up to two minutes. Then repeat this on your other eye. Don’t worry if you feel the drops running down your cheek. This will be the excess drop. Just wipe it away with a clean tissue.
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