Comm Eye Health Vol. 18 No. 53 2005 pp 79. Published online 01 March 2005.
How to apply eye ointment
- To treat a superficial corneal injury with antibiotic
- To deliver longer acting topical medication e.g.
– in the case of a child
– overnight, following medication by drop instillation during daytime
– when an eye needs to be padded for long periods.
You will need
- Clean swab or paper tissue
- Prescribed eye ointment – produced in varying sizes and colours of tube.
- Check that the ointment is not date-expired. This is not always easy to read on the actual tube so be careful to take time to do this. Some tubes also come in a box where the expiry date is easier to read.
- Check the patient’s name and eye ointment against the prescription
- Remove cap from nozzle
- Ask the patient to look up.
- With the index finger of one hand take a folded swab or tissue to gently hold down the lower eyelid
- With the other hand take the tube of ointment and direct the nozzle towards the inner canthus
- Squeeze tube slowly to allow about one centimetre to emerge in a thin line along the inside of the lower eyelid. (Rather like putting toothpaste on a toothbrush!). Do not touch the eye with the tube nozzle! Do not touch the eyelid skin or eyelashes with the tube nozzle – it will cease to be sterile and need to be discarded.
- Wipe away any surplus ointment which may emerge when the patient closes the eye.
- Secure the nozzle cap.