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Ear Drops Administration

  1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water and dry them thoroughly.
  2. Carefully wash and dry the outside of the ear, taking care not to get any water in the ear canal.
  3. Warm the ear drops to body temperature by holding the container in the palms of hands for a few minutes. Do not warm the container in hot water. Hot ear drops can cause pain, nausea, and dizziness.
  4. Shake the container.
  5. Tilt your head (or have the patient tilt his or her head) to the side or lie down with the affected ear up. Use gentle restraint, if necessary, for an infant or a young child.

  6. Open the container carefully. Position the dropper tip near, but not inside, the ear canal opening. Do not allow the dropper to touch the ear, because it could become contaminated or injure the ear. Ear drops must be kept clean.
  7. Pull your ear (or the patient’s ear) backward and upward to open the ear canal, as shown in the picture above. If the patient is a child younger than three years old, pull the backward and downward, as shown in the picture below.
  8. Place the proper dose of number of drops into the ear canal. Replace the cap on the container.
  9. Gently press the small, flat skin flap over the ear canal opening to force out air bubbles and push the drops down the ear canal.
  10. Stay (or keep the patient) in the same position for at least five minutes. If the patient is a child who cannot sit still, the doctor may tell you to place a clean piece of cotton gently into the child’s ear, to prevent the medication from draining out.
  11. Repeat the procedure for the other ear, if directed to do so.
  12. Gently wipe any excess medication of the outside of the ear, using caution to avoid getting moisture in the ear canal. Wash your hands.