About sodium bicarbonate ear drops
|Type of medicine||Earwax softener|
|Used for||Removal of earwax|
|Available as||Ear drops|
Earwax is naturally produced by the body to protect the skin inside the ear. Sometimes it builds up and becomes hard, causing problems with hearing. Sodium bicarbonate ear drops can be used to soften the hardened earwax, enabling it to be removed and so relieving the problem.
Before using sodium bicarbonate ear drops
Before using sodium bicarbonate ear drops make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have a perforated (burst) eardrum.
- If your ear is sore or infected.
- If you have recently had surgery on your ear.
How to use sodium bicarbonate ear drops
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Using the drops once a day for a few days is usually sufficient. However the drops may be used twice a day if the wax is very hard.
- The best time to use the drops is before going to bed.
- If you find it more comfortable, you may warm the ear drops to body temperature by holding the container in your hand for a few minutes before use.
How to use these ear drops:
- Clean the ear gently with warm water and pat dry. Do not poke into the ear.
- Tilt your head to one side so that the affected ear faces upwards.
- Gently pull the earlobe downwards. This straightens the ear canal.
- Fill the dropper with solution and then gently squeeze the dropper to release four or five drops of solution into the ear.
- Keep the ear facing up for 5-10 minutes to allow the solution to come into contact with the affected area.
- Repeat in the other ear if you have been instructed to use these drops in both ears.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Apply these drops exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.
- If the drops are for a child, follow the instructions as above, but only insert as many drops as are needed to fill the ear canal.
- After a few days the wax should come out on its own. It should be wiped away gently. Do not poke anything like cotton buds into the ear as this can compact the wax and make the problem worse.
- If the symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Can sodium bicarbonate ear drops cause problems?
It is unlikely that you will experience any side-effects from using these drops, but if you experience any symptoms which you are concerned about or think may be due to these ear drops, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store sodium bicarbonate ear drops
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 05/07/2011||Document ID: 3675 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.