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Foreign Body in the Ear

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Last updated June 11, 2022

Foreign body in ear quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your foreign body in ear.

Foreign body in ear quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your foreign body in ear.

Take foreign body in ear quiz

What is a foreign body in the ear?

Foreign objects can accidentally become lodged in the ear canal. This may include food, toy pieces, beads, buttons, disk batteries, cotton swab, paper, or insects. It happens more in children as they often stick objects in their ears. But it can also happen with adults, like when they try to clean the ear with cotton swabs.

Foreign bodies are usually trapped in the outer ear canal. It can cause irritation to the skin of the ear canal. If it gets stuck deep enough, it could tear the eardrum.

Symptoms

Treatment

You should see your doctor or pediatrician within the next 24 hours to have the foreign object removed. This is not a medical emergency requiring a visit to the ER, but the procedure should be performed by a medical professional to avoid damage to the eardrum.

It is important to remove the object in a timely manner to prevent discomfort and the possibility of an infection.

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Dr. Rothschild has been a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He currently practices as a hospitalist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. In 1978, Dr. Rothschild received his MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in critical care medicine. He also received an MP...
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