Removal of Foreign Body

Various foreign objects can become lodged in the ear canal, including cotton bud tips, foam plugs or even hearing aid ear pieces. Small toys or beads can put into the ear by children. Foreign bodies are prone to cause infections so prompt removal can prevent or relieve symptoms such as pain, hearing loss and discharge.

Several methods can be used by ENT specialists to remove foreign bodies from the ear. Great care must be taken to avoid trauma to the ear canal skin or pushing the object further into the ear causing damage to the ear drum. Magnification with a microscope is essential. Fine micro forceps or hooks, or micro suction is usually successful. Rarely gentle irrigation may be used instead.

Key Point: Young children with foreign bodies in the ear canal should always be treated by an ENT specialist, as ham-fisted attempts by others can result in considerable pain and distress and a conditioned dislike of doctors for many years!

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