How is the patient positioned for removal of ear foreign bodies?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Angela On-Kee Kwong, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

A patient's external auditory canal is easily visualized in both seated and lateral decubitus positions; cooperative patients can choose whichever position is more comfortable. In adults and young children, gently retract the pinna superiorly and posteriorly to straighten the ear canal for optimal visualization (see video below). In infants, the pinna may have to be gently retracted posteriorly or even downward for optimal view of the external auditory canal.

Positioning and examining with otoscope.

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