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How To Use Ear Drops


Ear drops are used to treat an infection that occurs in the ear. In general it is effective, because the drug directly into the ear canal and acts at the site of infection. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before you use the ear drops.

How To Use Ear Drop Properly

(Having someone else give you the ear drops may make this procedure easier)

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

  2. Gently clean your ear with a damp facecloth and then dry your ear.
  3. Read the labels of the ear drops. Make sure the ear drop is yours.
  4. If the ear drops are a cloudy suspension, shake the bottle well for 10 seconds.
  5. Check the dropper tip to make sure that it is not chipped or cracked. Do not touch the tip of the bottle to your ear.
  6. Draw the medication into the dropper as directed.
  7. Tilt the affected ear up or lie on your side. Pull the ear backward and upward (or if giving to a child younger than 3 years of age, pull backward and downward) to open the ear canal.

  8. Place the correct number of drops in your ear. Gently press on the small skin flap over the ear to help the drops to run into the ear canal

  9. Keep your ear tilted up for a few minutes as directed or at least for 5 minutes.

  10. Tighten the cap or dropper right away.
  11. Wash your hands to remove any medication.

Side Effects

Following are some of the common side effects occur when using ear drops:

  1. Irritation (itchy, stinging or burning)
  2. Swollen
  3. Skin rash
  4. Unpleasant taste in your mouth. This is because the ear canal is connected to the throat and some of the liquid may drain into your mouth


  1. To prevent the spread of infection, each bottle of ear drops should only be used by one person.
  2. Follow the direction carefully.
  3. After you have completed your course of treatment, throw away any leftover drops.
  4. Do not use the drops after the expiry date marked on the package.
  5. Ear drops should be thrown away four weeks after opening.


  1. Store the ear drops at room temperature and away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  2. Store medications out of reach of children.


  1. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. © 2009. How to administer (ear drops).
  2. Drugs.com. How to instill ear drops. Retrieved from http://www.drugs.com/cg/how-to-instill-ear-drops.html Illustrator: Kirk Moldoff Studios, Princeton, N.J. All rights reserved. Duplication in any form must be authorized by ASHP. Copyright 2014, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission by Ministry of Health Malaysia.
  3. Know Your Medicine. How to use your ear drops [Pamphlet]. Retrieved from http://www.knowyourmedicine.gov.my/newsmaster.
  4. University of Maryland Medical Center. How to use eardrops. Retrieved from http://umm.edu/programs/hearing/patients/eardrops#ixzz2xWgrdHVV
Last Reviewed : 06 November 2014
Writer/Translator : Atika Mahfuza bt. Mahbub
Accreditor : Norhayati bt. Musa