Aspiration isn't commonly used for treating ear infections. However, sometimes suction is necessary to remove infection causing fluid from the ear. Ear infections affect the outer ear canal and middle ear behind the ear drum. In both cases bacteria filled fluid is normally the cause. Your middle ear is equipped with a drainage tube (Eustachian tube) that allows fluid to pass into your throat. This tube doesn't mature until mid-adolescence. This is why children are plagued with middle ear infections far more often than adults. You should not attempt aspiration on a child's ear at home. For ear canal infections in adults, at home methods of aspiration and irrigation are safe to use and can help clear up an ear infection.
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Dry out your ear canal. Ear infections create a foul smelling, sometimes runny, puslike liquid. Dry up the discharge using hydrogen peroxide. Fill the cap or a dropper full of peroxide, tilt your infected ear up and fill your ear canal with peroxide.
You will hear bubbling and fizzing. Leave the peroxide in for 2 to 3 minutes. Place a cotton ball over your ear, tilt to the other side and allow the peroxide to drain out.
Repeat this twice a day, for three days, before moving on to step two.
Make a sterile rinse to flush out your infected ear canal. In a clean glass container, mix four ounces of warm water with two ounces of peroxide. Fill an ear syringe or bulb syringe with the solution, lean your infected ear over the sink, place the tip of the syringe 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch into your ear canal and squeeze the syringe. The solution should fill your ear canal and immediately run out into the sink. Repeat until you have used all the solution.
Keep your infected ear tilted to the side, with a cotton ball over it, for 10 to 15 minutes after flushing.
Take a bulb syringe--the same syringe used to aspirate infants' nostrils--and squeeze down on it. Keep squeezing while you place the tip of the syringe 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch into your ear canal then slowly release to create light suction. Repeat this 5 to 10 times as long as you don't feel any pain.
Place 2 to 3 drops of peroxide in your infected ear once a day for the next five days. This will keep your ear dry and sterile.
Tips and warnings
- Middle ear infections should only be aspirated by a physician. The process requires making an incision in your ear drum to suck the liquid out.
- If you feel pain, or experience dizziness, ear ringing or hearing loss while treating your own ear infection at home, stop and contact your physician.
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