How to Use Eye Ointments and Gels

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye or anything else; the tube tip must be kept clean.
  • Holding the tube between your thumb and forefinger, place it as near to your eyelid as possible without touching it.
  • Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your face.
  • Tilt your head backward slightly.
  • With your index finger, pull the lower eyelid down to form a pocket.
  • Squeeze a 1/4- to 1/2-inch (0.6- to 1.25-centimeter) ribbon of ointment or gel into the pocket made by the lower eyelid. Remove your index finger from the lower eyelid.
  • Blink your eye slowly; then gently close your eye for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • With a tissue, wipe any excess ointment or gel from the eyelids and lashes. With another clean tissue, wipe the tip of the tube clean.
  • Replace and tighten the cap right away.
  • Wash your hands to remove any medication.
  • Your vision may be blurry for a short amount of time after using the eye ointment. Wait until you can see normally before you drive or do other activities that require good vision.

Adapted, with permission, from the Michigan Pharmacists Association'sPatient Education Program. Illustration reproduced, with permission, from theAtlas of Primary Eyecare Procedures, Appleton Lange, Norwalk, CT, 1997.

Your eyesight may be cloudy after using the ointment or gel

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.