Why Can I Taste My Eye Drops?

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Since your eye drops will mostly find their way to your mouth through the lacrimal ducts, you should try bending your head to the floor after administering eye drops. Also, ensure that no drops fall to your cheek or mouth directly due to poor head positioning when administering the eye drops in your eyes. It would help to wash your hands after using eye drops to avoid ingesting the eye drops from your hands.

Even though eye drops get administered to the eyes, it becomes possible to taste them in your mouth. Most people who use eye drops have confirmed tasting the eye drops in the mouth. In most dry eye problems, you will get eye drops prescriptions.

Other eye diseases get treated with eye drops’ medication too. Given that these eye drops don’t get manufactured for oral ingestion, they may be devoid of appropriate flavorings; hence most people find their taste irritating.

Is it bad that I can taste my eye drops?

Although the tasting of eye drops in the mouth may not be a cause for alarm, the eye drops that find their path to the mouth don’t perform their required treatment in the eye and can get considered wasted.

This non-functioning may translate to ongoing eye problems. Some people who find the taste most obnoxious may even rule out the usage of eye drops altogether, heightening the risk of escalation in eye problems, infections, and complications.

Common reasons for that eye drops taste in your mouth

There are several reasons why one tastes eye drops in their mouth. One of the reasons gets embedded in the physical anatomy surrounding the connection between the eyes, the nasal cavity, and the throat.

Other reasons may include applying eye drops, which gives a lot of room to common human errors.

There happen to be various techniques that we can use to avoid feeling the taste of our eye drops in our mouths. One of them would be a way of blocking the connection between the eyes, nasal cavity, and throat.

Another method that may be basic enough is how many drops of eye drops you apply to each eye, at what time intervals, where precisely in the eyes you place the eye drops. Even the posture of your head during the entire process may determine.

The underlying reason for all of the above is to allow the eye drop adequate time in the eye for it to work as intended and at the same time minimize the side effects and any inappropriate wastage.

So why can we taste eye drops?

1. The lacrimal punctum

Have you ever thought about why you get a running nose every time you cry? That may be very simple. It means a connection between the eyes and the nasal cavity.

Specifically, a small opening is visible at the inner side of the eye, just adjacent to the nose on the periphery of the lower eyelid. It may be very unlikely to miss it when you look closely for it in a mirror. The opening, lacrimal punctum, as it may be known, has the function of draining excess fluids out of the eye. The lacrimal punctum cascades downwards to the lacrimal sac and lacrimal ducts that happen to run alongside the nasal cavity.

The lacrimal ducts connect to the nasal cavity further down. As we all know, the nasal cavity connects to the mouth at the base of the throat. That may be the reason we can breathe with both our mouths and noses. The throat to nasal cavity connection may also play an essential role in voice construction.

Therefore, it may be fitting to say that the throat and the eyes connect directly via the nasal cavity and the lacrimal system. The connection may be the reason we can taste our eye drops.

Excess amounts of eye drop are sucked up by the lacrimal punctum to travel through the lacrimal system, then to the nasal cavity, and later to the throat, where we may be able to taste them.

2. Accidental dripping of eye drops into the mouth       

It may be possible for eye drops to directly find their way into our mouth without going through the lacrimal punctum. Come to think of when you are applying your eye drops alone with no one to help you. You may tilt your head upwards, and the other eye besides the one you are presently administering the eye drops may be closed.

In such a situation, you may miss administering the eye drops in your eye and have them directly to your mouth. Sometimes an extra drop may fall on your cheeks and find its way into your mouth. You will taste the eye drops if this happens.

So, how should you administer eye drops effectively?

In most cases, if you administer the eye drops effectively, you don’t end up tasting them in your mouth.

Doctor Mary Harding recommends using the following steps when administering eye drops:

  • Wash your hands and stand or sit comfortably in front of a mirror
  • Remove the lid from the eye drops bottle
  • Pull your lower eyelid gently downwards to create a pocket-like area below the eye.
  • Squeeze the required drops in the lower pocket like area of your eye
  • Don’t touch your dropper tip on any part of the eye to avoid contaminating your eye drops
  • Tilt your head towards the flow and remain in this position for about three minutes
  • Press on the tear duct for about a minute
  • Repeat this procedure on your other eye if you got a prescription for the two eyes
  • If using two different eye drops medication or more, space the administration for five minutes for each drug.


Is it bad if I can taste my eye drops?

If you had administered your eye drops directly to your eyes, there would be no harm in tasting them. Instead, it confirms that you have excellent functioning tear duct and taste bands.

How do I stop my eye drops from going down my throat?

You should avoid administering excess eye drops since the excessive drops will find their way down through the tear duct to your throat. Also, ensure you bend your head towards the floor with your eyes closed after administering your eye drops.

How do you get rid of eye drops’ taste?

Since the taste bands at the rear end of your tongue recognize this taste, you may try taking something sweet like a pineapple to eradicate the eye drops taste.


For the eye drops to perform their intended work, you need to keep them entirely to your eyes.

If, after all, preventive measures, you still find the eye drops taste in your mouth, your lacrimal glands must be working perfectly. For this reason, there will be no cause for alarm.  

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Nudrat Naheed
Hi, I am Nudrat, The Heart And Brain author, IR student, and painter. Writing about health fascinates me because it helps me to explore a new healthy routine and share it with others. I write primarily about general health, pregnancy, postpartum, and allergies here. If you don't find me writing, I'm busy painting or reading on global politics.

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