How to administer eye drops and eye ointment

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2016.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: How to modules Level: Qualified Nurses, Students


Mary Shaw, Senior lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, Manchester, England.

Short description

Read this module and update your knowledge and skills on how to administer eye drops and ointment.

Detailed description

Eye drops and eye ointment are the mainstay of treatment of ocular conditions. Failure to prioritise administration of these medicines can prolong the condition and may present a risk to the patient’s vision.

  • Eye drops and eye ointments are used to treat acute and chronic conditions of the eye and surrounding structures. Eye drops must be instilled before applying eye ointment, since the ointment will affect the absorption of the eye drop.
  • Nurses require knowledge of the technique, side effects and potential interactions associated with systemically or topically applied medicines to the eye to ensure patient safety and optimum outcomes.