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Glaucoma Patients Need to Learn Several Eye Drop Instillation Methods

BOSTON, April 10, 2010 - Many glaucoma patients experience great difficulty instilling eye drops, even after receiving thorough instruction from a physician, a speaker said during Glaucoma Day preceding the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting here.

Patient instruction alone may not be sufficient to ensure proper use of drops, Alan L. Robin, MD, said. He cited statistics showing that a mean 1.8 drops successfully enter the eye out of seven attempts.

"Persistency is only part of the battle," Dr. Robin said. "We don't even know if teaching a patient how to use drops and drugs makes a real difference. Studies are now under way to evaluate that. What the best way is, we have no way of knowing."

Patients often instill drops outside the eye, with the eye closed or looking away from the bottle, Dr. Robin said. Ideal use involves instilling one drop without the bottle tip touching the eye. However, he noted that there is no fail-safe instillation technique.

Short-term strategies include educating patients about multiple instillation techniques. Longer-term solutions include considering alternatives such as surgery and new drug delivery systems, Dr. Robin said.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation has information for putting in eyedrops: https://www.glaucoma.org/treating/eyedrop_tips_1.php

Last reviewed on October 29, 2017

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