Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Using Eye Ointment


Putting eye ointment in eye.
  • If you are using both eyedrops and eye ointment, put the eyedrops in at least 10 minutes before the ointment.
  • If you have an eye infection, don't wear contact lenses while you are using the ointment, unless your doctor has told you it's okay.
  • Using a mirror may make it easier to see what you are doing.

Here are the steps for using eye ointment.

  1. Make sure you have the correct ointment.

    Don't use anyone else's ointment. If your doctor prescribed one type of ointment to treat one problem, don't use the same medicine to treat a different problem.

  2. Read the directions.

    Use the ointment exactly as directed. Make sure you understand the directions. Don't use the ointment longer or in larger amounts than your doctor tells you to. This can hurt your eyes.

  3. Wash your hands well.

    Always do this before you put in the ointment. If you have disposable medical gloves, wear them when you put ointment into your eyes.

  4. Check the top of the ointment tube.

    Be sure the tube tip is clean. Don't let it touch any surface. Ointment that gets bacteria in it can easily spread the bacteria to the eye and cause an infection.

  5. Position your head and the ointment.
    • With one hand, tilt your head back and pull the lower eyelid down with one or two fingers to create a small pouch.
    • With the other hand, position the medicine above your eye.
  6. Put in the ointment.
    • Put a thin line of ointment in the pouch. Close the eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the ointment absorb.
    • Don't let the ointment tube tip touch the eye, eyelid, or lashes. if it does, call your drugstore and arrange to get another tube of eye ointment.
  7. Wash your hands.

    Wash them even if you wore gloves.

Eye ointment can cause some temporary blurring of vision.

Related Information


Current as of: June 5, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.