Gather 'round, children
. I will share with you a secret
which has served me well lo' these many years.
Anyone who has ever attempted to introduce eyedrops into their own or some other human being's eye is familiar with the ubiquitous hurdle to proper application: the blink reflex.
Cajoling, pleas of mercy, and even promised trips to the flashing video arcade (yes, the one in the mall with the special Kill 'Em All/Let God Sort 'Em OutTM shooting game with the bazookas and SplatterifficTM special effects that Mommy thinks is so evil it will besmirch your eternal soul beyond redemption) fail to prevent that damned eyelid snapping shut like a delicate but astonishingly strong bear trap.
Now, now. Quiet your mewling. I ramble, true, but not without good reason...for it is only through complete understanding of the problem that the solution comes to light.
To the foolhardy, the aforementioned blink reflex seems the sole culprit. Logically, then, preventing the eyelids from closing through adhesive, clamps, or superhuman finger pressure should do the trick.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The essential problem is twofold:
- The blink reflex (obviously)
- Evasive head movements (aha!)
Even those who manage to surmount the instinctive reaction of those pesky eyelids by hook or by crook will be foiled by a wiggly head. Some might argue that administering eyedrops to oneself does not include this second element. Perhaps, but the secret which follows works equally well no matter how strong the head and eyes in question resist conventional methods.
Here's what you do:
All instructions assume you are dispensing drops into someone else's eye(s). Self-administrators should start at Step 2.
- With eyedrops in hand, have the intended dropee sit comfortably within reach
- Tilt droppee's head back until face plane1 is as horizontal as possible
- Tell dropee to close2 any eyes that are to be eyedropped
- Place as many drops as prescribed in the inner corner3 of one closed eye
- Tell the dropee to open their eyes and begin to blink4 slowly
- Gently tilt the dropee's head so that the drop just begins to move away from the bridge of the nose
As the drop moves away from the corner of the eye, it will end up on the eyeball proper and the blinking action will disperse it appropriately
- Hand the dropee a tissue5 to blot away any tears7 but caution against scrubbing at the eyes
- Repeat Steps 1 - 7 for other eye(s) as needed
Why does this method work?
It works because both the blink reflex and head movements are triggered not by the drop hitting the eye, but by the anticipation of same. By putting the drops in place whilst the eye(s) are closed, there is no awareness of when the drop will fall, and hence, neither blink nor evasion.
The "tilt and blink" process ensures that the drop ends up in the right place (on the eye) and helps the dropee resist the urge to instinctively rub their eyes dry, since the drop hasn't plummetted into their trembling eye like a stray asteroid.
1 The approximate flat surface of the face...imagine setting a checkerboard on the dropee's mug in such a way that it won't slide off, spilling checkers everywhere. If you find yourself actually playing checkers on the dropee's face, seek professional help.
2 Yes, I said close. Don't question me. I'm smarter than you by a factor of twelve.
3 That's the corner that tears come from, Sparky. Putting drops on the outer corners will deliver the payload to the dropee's ears. Twit.
4 That instruction would sound something like the following.
You: Timmy, open your eyes and blink.
Timmy: Who are you? What are you doing with those eyedrops?
You: Don't ask questions. Do as I say.
Timmy: Very well, but my lawyer will be speaking to you.
5 Or, for added points, a silk handkerchief6
6 Proffer only if you are a magician, over the age of seventy, or willing to suffer raised eyebrows and all kinds of rude comments from the less stylish members of the populace.
7 Theirs, not yours. Weepy wretch.
Disclaimer: This noder is not a professional optometrist, optometric surgeon, secretary in an optometry office, or even remotely familiar with medical procedures more complicated than application of a Band-Aid. If you find that your eyes redden, feel poorly, or fall out of your head and roll around on the floor like squishy Superballs, seek medical attention promptly.