Instillation of ear drops into the auditory canal


  • To clean the ear
  • To remove the foreign body or wax
  • To relieve inflammation, congestion and pain
  • To kill an insect lodged in the ear
  • To anesthetize

General Instructions

  • Explain the procedure clearly to get patients cooperation
  • The auditory canal should be cleaned before instill the ear drops
  • Drops must be warm, when they are instilled into the ear
  • Hold the pinna of the ear upward and backward in case of adults and in children put it down backward to straighten the external auditory canal
  • Plug the ear with a small cotton ball or a small gauze piece
  • Allow 3 or 4 drops trickle down on one side of the canal so that the air may escape from the auditory canal and medication may reach up on the ear drum
  • Do not ignore any complaint by the patient


A small tray containing

  • Medicine with dropper
  • Applicators with cotton tips
  • Normal saline
  • Little cotton
  • Kidney tray and paper bag


  • Wash hands and collect the articles and take it to the bedside
  • Explain procedure to the patient
  • Place the patient in supine or sitting position with head to side and the affected ear up
  • Pull the pinna down and back in case of adult and down and back case of infant/child. Rest the other hand on patients head to avoid damaging the ear with dropper if the patient moves
  • Instill the medicine drop by drop directing the flow toward the canal do not allow the dropper to touch the ear
  • Place loose cotton in the outer ear absorbs any excess medicine and keeps the patients head turned to the side for 10 to 15 minutes

After Care

  • Place the patient comfortably
  • Replace the articles
  • Hand wash
  • Record the procedure in nurse’s record sheet
INSTILLATION OF EAR DROPS - Purpose, Instructions, Procedure, After Care, Equipment
INSTILLATION OF EAR DROPS – Purpose, Instructions, Procedure, After Care, Equipment

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