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How can I minimize the side effects of my glaucoma medications?

The best way to minimize the systemic effects of glaucoma medications is to gently press on the inside corner of your closed eyes with your index finger and thumb for two to three minutes after instilling the drop. This will help keep any drops from getting into your system and keep them in your eye, where they are needed.

Once the drop is on the eye, do not blink your eye or move it around to spread the drop. Instead, gently close your eyes just once, place the pad of your most sensitive finger at the inside corner of the eyelid by the nose and press gently.

Leave the eyelids closed and the finger pressing gently for 2 full minutes. Studies have shown that it takes 2 full minutes for the drop to completely penetrate the surface of the eye to get inside. The closed eyelids and pressure on the tear drainage duct avoids unwanted systemic side effects from the potent eyedrop drugs by preventing the drop from getting inside the nose where it could enter the bloodstream rapidly.

After two minutes, the drop is fully absorbed into the eye. You can then put a different drop in, if you use more than one drop.

Last reviewed on August 23, 2012

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