I. Indications

II. Contraindications

  1. Tympanic Membrane not intact
    1. Tympanostomy Tubes
    2. Tympanic Membrane Perforation
  2. Prior ear surgery or Radiation Therapy to area
  3. Severe Otitis Externa
  4. Sharp foreign objects in external canal
  5. Vertigo

III. Precautions: Avoid forceful irrigation

  1. Risk of Tympanic Membrane Rupture
  2. Risk of ossicle trauma
  3. May further impact cerumen

IV. Preparation

  1. Warm water (Body Temperature)
    1. Prevents Vertigo from caloric stimulation
  2. Additives
    1. Acetic Acid
      1. Prevents Pseudomonas overgrowth
      2. Add 1 part 5% acetic acid to 2 parts water
    2. Detergent Effect
      1. Helps separate wax from ear canal
      2. Detergents
        1. Hydrogen Peroxide OR
        2. 1:750 benzalkonium chloride
      3. Dilute irrigant 1:1 with hydrogen peroxide
  3. Lavage apparatus
    1. Ear Bulb syringe or
    2. Syringe (20 to 50cc) with IV or butterfly tubing

V. Technique

  1. Retract pinna posteriorly
  2. Use moderate pressure (AVOID forceful irrigation)
  3. Direct fluid to superior canal or other opening in wax

VI. Efficacy

  1. Effective in 70% of cases

Images: Related links to external sites (from Google)

Ontology: Irrigation of ear (C0149534)

Concepts Therapeutic or Preventive Procedure (T061)
ICD9 96.52
SnomedCT 66363008, 150565009, 270953001
English Irrigation ext auditory canal, Ear syringing, syringing ear, irrigation of ear, Syringe ear, ear irrigations, ear syring, ear syringing, ear irrigation, ear syringed, Ear irrigation, Syringing of ear, Irrigation of external auditory canal, Irrigation of ear (procedure), Ear syringe, Flushing of ear, Aural canal syringing, Irrigation of ear, ear syringe
Italian Irrigazione auricolare
Dutch oor uitspuiten, oorirrigatie
French Lavage d'oreille, Irrigation de l'oreille
German Ohrenspuelung, Ohrspuelung
Portuguese Lavagem do ouvido, Irrigação do ouvido externo
Spanish Irrigación del oído, Ear syringing, Aural canal syringing, Ear syringe, irrigación del oído (procedimiento), irrigación del oído, Irrigación del conducto auditivo externo
Japanese 耳洗浄, ジセンジョウ, ミミセンジョウ
Czech Výplach ucha
Hungarian Hallójárat mosás, Fül irrigatio