Ear irrigation is the process of flushing the external ear canal with sterile water or sterile saline
Is the washing of the external auditory canal with a stream of fluid
- To cleanse the ear incase of purulent discharge caused by middle ear infection.
- To soften and remove impacted cerumen.
- Dislodge a foreign body(except hygroscopic substances like ethanol, sodium chloride)
- To relieve localized inflammation and discomfort.
- For antiseptic effect
- To apply heat or cold
- To evaluate vestibular functions (e.g. bi-thermal caloric test).
- Solution used
- Boric acid 2-4%
- Sodium bicarbonate solution 1%
- Normal saline
- Hydrogen peroxide 2%
- Sterile water
•Ear syringe in a receiver
•Basin and vomitus bowl
•Prescribed solution in a bowl of warm water
•An adjustable light, screen, plastic apron and hand washing equipment
- Explain the procedure to the patient to obtain consent and cooperation
- Provide privacy by screening or closing nearby windows.
- Wash hands,
- Prepare the equipment and bring at bed side.
- Position the patient in sitting up.
- Inspect the auditory canal using the auroscope.
- Ask the patient to be seated. If unable to sit, let him lie on the back and tilt the head slightly towards
the affected ear.
- Provide a good light.
- Place the mackintosh and patient’s towel on his/her shoulder and upper arm, under the affected ear
or if lying down, cover the pillow and the area under the affected ear.
- Let the patient hold the receiver close to his/her head under the affected ear.
- Clean the auricle and the meatus of the auditory canal with cotton wool swabs moistened with the
- Draw the solution into the syringe and expel air.
- Straighten the auditory canal; then insert the syringe tip and start the flow.
- 0bserve the patient during the syringing for signs of dizziness or pain.
- Remove the syringe when it is empty, inspect the return flow. Then refill the syringe and continue
irrigation until the return flow is clear.
- Remove the syringe and using an auroscope inspect the canal for cleanliness.
- Dry the patient’s auricle and remove the patient’s towel and mackintosh cape.
- Help the patient to lie down on the affected side to promote drainage of residual debris and solution.
Place a gauze pad under his ear.
- Clear away and document findings.