Eye Drops

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Question

Why must I use extra care administering eye drops if I have high blood pressure and am taking a beta blocker?

Answer

Many eye drop medications are also beta blockers. Therefore, if proper technique is not used, the eye drop medication can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This in turn may cause enhanced side effects such as low blood pressure, dizziness, and headache.

The primary reason to use proper technique in administering eye drops is to get the most benefit from your medication. It also is important to use proper technique to avoid or reduce potential side effects from the eye drop medication.

Proper eye drop technique


  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

  2. With your forefinger, pull down the lower eyelid to form a pocket. Holding the medication container between the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand, and bracing the remaining fingers against the side of your nose, place the dispenser close to the eye but not touching.

  3. Tilt your head back, and administer the correct number of drops one at a time.

  4. Immediately press your forefinger gently against the inside corner of your eye to prevent the medication from entering the tear duct. Hold your finger in place for three to four minutes. Or, gently close your eyes for a few minutes (to keep medication in contact with the eye).

  5. Wash off any medication that falls on your face.

Find out more about beta blockers and explore our High Blood Pressure Center.

You can also learn more about eye health in our Vision Center.

Get more information about your medications.

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