Eye droppers

I’m going to have a bit of a moan this time…

Have you ever struggled to open a child-proof container of pills? If so, you will know that the best solution is to find a child to open it for you!

Over the years, I have had to use eye drops of many different varieties. Most of them have been simple to use. You simply remove the top, take aim, and squeeze the bottle. Occasionally, though, the pharmaceutical industry catches you out.

Sometimes I have been dispensed a bottle in which you, the patient, have to make the hole the liquid comes out of. This involves trying to sterilise a needle as best you can, poking it into the top and hoping for the best.

If, like me, you can’t see bottle, never mind any instructions, it can take a while for you to realise that this is what you have to do. You can squeeze fruitlessly for quite a time before it occurs to you that it isn’t working.

Once you’ve found out what to do, you still have a challenge. You may be able to find and clean a needle, but you then have to make the hole. That’s difficult enough, but you also have to do all this without touching anything, because, if you do, the tip of the eye drop bottle will no longer be sterile.

Recently, I had another challenge. I was dispensed eye drops that didn’t seem to be working. When my sister came over to see me, I asked her to check them out for me. She read the leaflet and discovered that the drops worked on a pump-action mechanism. Not only would I never have worked this out for myself, but it isn’t as easy to us as it sounds . I have to hold a tissue, hold my eye open, guide the dropper to the right place and press the bottom of the bottle, all with only two hands!

I am gradually getting the hang of it but, surely, pharmaceutical companies should give a bit more thought to the needs of the end-user?