How to Do Ear Irrigation

Close up of the ear of an elderly woman
Ear irrigation is necessary to clear foreign matter from your ears. (Image: mheim3011/iStock/Getty Images)

Ear irrigation refers to the process of flushing your ears with a liquid to clean and remove foreign particles. Whether it is discharge that needs to be removed, hardened ear wax that needs softening or a small object that needs to be dislodged, irrigation is the way to go. It is wise to have a nurse or other qualified person irrigate your ears to avoid making the problem worse or causing damage to your eardrum.

Step 1

Wash your hands thoroughly before you begin.

Step 2

Instruct the patient to sit with her head tilted over to the side, with her bad ear pointing down. Have her hold a small bowl or basin under her ear.

Step 3

Fill the bulb with warm water. Hold the outer ear and pull it back to open the ear canal.

Step 4

Squeeze the bulb to apply a steady stream of solution against the top of the auditory canal. Use just enough force to remove what is inside the ear.

Step 5

Place a cotton ball in the opening of the ear and leave the patient on her side to completely drain the ear canal when you are finished.

Things You'll Need

  • Irrigating solution

  • Irrigation bulb

  • Basin or bowl

  • Cotton ball

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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