What lurks in dropper bottles besides nose drops has long been a subject of discussion. By "dropper bottle" is meant the standard type of dropper attached, screw capped bottle wherein the dropper hangs submerged in the solution. The patient purchases a dropper bottle of solution of one of the common vasoconstrictors, treats his cold, then puts the bottle away in the family medicine cabinet. It is brought out thereafter when any member of the household has a stuffy nose. The dropper is inserted into the offending nostrils and is then put back into the bottle. Usually the dropper has been inserted well into the nostrils; therefore the questions arise of nose drops being a possible source of transmission of infection from one member of the family to another and of a future "cold" being complicated by the use of nose drops contaminated from a previous "cold."
Most persons would not
GOMPERTZ JL, MICHAEL P. NOSE DROP CONTAMINATION IN DROPPER BOTTLES. JAMA. 1942;118(15):1287–1288. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830150023008