How to use ear drops

Ear Care & Audiology Services

How to use ear drops

If you have been prescribed ear drops:

  • Lie down on your side with your affected ear upwards.
  • Gently pull your ear backwards and upwards, gripping your ear at the top.
  • Drop the prescribed number of drops one at a time, at the entrance to your ear canal (the hole)
  • Gently move your outer ear around to allow the drops fall more deeply into your ear.
  • Stay lying down for 10 to 15 minutes to give the drops a chance to reach the deepest part of your ear canal.
  • Some of the drops will spill out of your ear. Gently wipe this away with a clean tissue.

Information for people with a Mastoid Cavity

The instructions above can be used for any ear drops. When administering drops when you have a mastoid cavity, they have to reach two areas; your ear canal and your mastoid cavity.

  • Follow the instructions above to administer your drops, however instead of staying on your side to let the drops go down your ear canal, please lay on your back. This will make sure that the drops reach the back of your mastoid cavity.
  • Remain on your back for 10-15 minutes, and then gently wipe any excess with a clean tissue when you get back up.


Produced by Kirsty Cartwright & Jodie Whitehead. January 2023. Revision Due January 2025.
Version 1.0 © The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust 2023. All rights reserved.

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  • Page last reviewed: 22 August 2023
  • Next review due: 22 August 2024