How to Do Ear Irrigation

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.

Ear irrigation is necessary to clear foreign matter from your ears. (Image: mheim3011/iStock/Getty Images)

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

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