Check the tympanic membrane for bulging, perforation, and color change before irrigating. The eardrum is normally shiny, light pearly gray and translucent. A blue, yellow, amber, red, or pink eardrum indicates disease or infection.
A continued bulge in the eardrum indicates possible pus or fluid in the middle ear. DO NOT IRRIGATE and report to the physician/Nurse Practitioner.
If a hole or tear is noted when viewing the eardrum, DO NOT IRRIGATE as this would cause pain and possibly transmit serious infection to the middle ear. Report to the physician. NB: Ask the client if he/she has or has had a perforated eardrum; sometimes the perforation is blocked and cannot be seen clearly.