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Using eye drops in phials with arthritic hands!

Megrose2Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
edited 21. Mar 2018, 12:19 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all.
I was diagnosed with Ocular Rosacea a few weeks ago. I've been prescribed Carmellose eye drops to use at least four times a day and will see the ophthalmologist again in a few months.

The drops are in single dose units, in small phials, where the top has to be twisted off and the phial itself squeezed to put the drops into my eyes. They have no preservative in them, which is important for me. I have arthritis in my hands, which makes twisting and squeezing painful and difficult. The first prescription I had for the drops were fine, but the second prescription, where the drops were made by a different company, have proved impossible for me to use. Thankfully, my husband is able to twist the top off and put the drops in for me, but I'm extremely irritated that I can't do it myself.

I spoke to the pharmacist, who told me that they have no control over which companies are used to fill their prescriptions, but she would make a note of it and pass it on to them.

Has anyone else had the same problem with these phials? If so, what did you do? I'm pretty sure the eye problem is going to be ongoing, i.e. it won't be cured, just managed, so I'm going to be using eye drops for the duration. Any thoughts would be gratefully received.


  • stickywicketstickywicket Member Posts: 26,006
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm afraid my solution to the eye drops problem has always been your own, Megrose, ie enlist the husband. Fortunately for me, it's a rare problem.

    I shall watch this thread with interest.

    Meanwhile, all I can think is to ask the GP if they have any suggestions. Or even just start with the Practice Manager. It seems crazy that there's a brand you can use but not access. Perhaps if the GP specified a brand the pharmacy could oblige. Yes, it might cost fractionally more but it's not in NHS interests to make us more disabled.

    Good luck!
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,567
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh dear, this is a tough one isn't it? For twisting things I use discs of grippy material (the stuff you buy to stop things slipping) but this may not be solution. How many drops fall from the container before it is empty? I ask because I am wondering whether it might be possible to cut the top off . . . . DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Megrose2Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Sticky and DD. I did think about cutting the top off, but, even putting in four drops - two drops each eye - leaves the phial half full.

    My husband is quite happy to do it for me, but if he's not immediately available, and my eyes are sore, obviously I have to wait. I just find it so incredibly frustrating that I can't manage it on my own. Patience is not one of my virtues!

    I think I'll follow your suggestion, Sticky and have a word with the practice. Unfortunately, I can't remember who the manufacturer was of the previous prescription I had, but maybe the pharmacist has a record of that.

    I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks again.

  • Megrose2Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Update. I spoke to the pharmacist again and she has put a note on my records that I am not to be prescribed the Lumecare brand in the future. So, hopefully, my next prescription may be better. It's a village chemist and they are so helpful.

    In the meantime, I've got 5 boxes of the darn things to work through! I've been prescribed 6 boxes a month, with a minimum of four applications a day, so I suppose I'll soon get through them.

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,567
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am pleased that you have discovered the better manufacturer and I hope that your next batch is user-friendly.

    In the meantime I wonder if this could be an option: cut the top off, dispense the liquid into a small, narrow container such as an egg cup then suck it into a dropper - chemists used to sell them. This way you can still put drops in but the remaining fluid will be secure in the dropper. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
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