Last Updated on Sep 20, 2012

 Overview

  • Any outside object lodged inside ear canal
  • Not dislodged easily
  • An 'Otoscope' is used to identify object

Causes

  • On purpose, eg, a cotton swab used for cleaning
  • Accidental, especially among children
  • An insect that may have crept into the ear

Symptoms
  • Feeling of uneasiness/ discomfort
  • Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Infection
  • Discharge/blood oozing from ear
  • Dry cough, occasionally
  • Insect may bite/cause tickling sensation

Treatment
  • If object is protruding, use tweezers to remove 
  • If object is small, shake head with ear facing downward
  • If it is insect, turn head to place affected ear upward
  • Place few drops of mineral oil/baby oil inside ear
  • Flush the insect out using clean water
  • Use oil only in case of insect
  • Otherwise it may lead to swelling
  • Seek medical help if required
Steps to Avoid
  • Do not push your finger into the ear
  • Do not strike the head to dislodge object
  • Do not shake a child to remove object
  • Do not try to remove object on your own
  • Do not block any discharge from ear
  • Do not try to clean the ears

Consult a doctor 
  • If the object is not soft
  • If the object cannot be removed easily
Prognosis
  • There may be no problems once object is removed
  • Trying to remove object may tear the ear drum
  • This may lead to hearing loss
Prevention
  • Avoid using objects like tissues/ tooth pick to clean ears
  • Do not place anything inside ear without consulting doctor
  • Monitor children's actions

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Comments

@smjavid, India

in my ear i have regular pus discharges i got it operation for my both ears last 8 years back and now the de charge is going on and now dr says that to get it operation again they had asked to ger an MRI .

@azher, N/A

iam azher hashmi the problem is hearing with single Ear please suggest me any consulting and contact me azherhashmi99@yahoo.com thank u
Age 34 plz. guide what can i do!

@Bigjoe, N/A

once while i was on night duty at the emergency ward, a woman came with complains of foreign object in the ear. felt some tingling sensation in the ear. since there was no oil available, the ear was flushed with water and in a twinkling of an eye, the sensation stops. thanks to the site

@mbenben, United States

Yesterday, While welding, a spark landed inside my ear. Burned like heck. Today, can't see any redness or swelling, but it's very painful. Can you suggest home treatment, or should I see a Doctor?

@Chipo, Zimbabwe

Yeepiee, the cockroach is out. thank you for this site. Major help indeed. It saved me a huge medical bill.