Ear drops are liquid medicine, to be put into the ear. They are used if medication needs to work directly in the ear, such as to:
Soften and remove ear wax
Our ear canals produce ear wax, which lines the ear canal and keeps them clean. Ear wax traps dust and other debris, and gradually works its way to the entrance of your ear canal, where it escapes. If the wax builds up it can cause discomfort, pain and hearing loss.
- Ear wax can be softened using warm olive oil ear drops or almond oil ear drops.
- Drops for softening ear wax can be bought from your pharmacy, such as Waxsol® or Cerumol®.
Ear drops aren't suitable for everyone and shouldn't be used if you have a perforated eardrum (a hole or tear in your eardrum). Speak to your pharmacist about the best product for you. Read more earwax build-up and removal.
Treat ear infections, inflammation or eczema
Some ear drops contain antibiotics to treat infection in the outer ear such as Soframycin®. Antibiotic ear drops can also include a steroid to reduce swelling from ear infections. Examples include Ciproxin HC®, Sofradex®, Locacorten-Vioform®, and Kenacomb®. These ear drops are available only on prescription from your doctor.
For treatment of mild ear infection and discomfort of the outer ear — usually caused by water in the ear, ear drops such as Vosol®, can be from your pharmacy.