Yes, it’s safe to put a cotton ball in your ear after using ear drops.
If you use ear drops and experience an earache or other discomfort, you may want to pop a cotton ball into your ear canal to help relieve the pain. This isn’t the most comfortable feeling, but it’s effective in minimizing irritation from the medication.
The common question is whether or not you should use a cotton ball after putting ear drops in your ears. The answer is yes — it won’t hurt anything — but there are some caveats.
You should only put a cotton ball in your ear if:
You’ve used an over-the-counter (OTC) ear drop that doesn’t require contact with the eardrum (eardrum penetration). Examples of these include: OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Decongestants like phenylephrine hydrochloride (Neo-Synephrine). Antibiotics like amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (Augmentin).
Last modified: July 29, 2022