Ear, foreign object in

A foreign object in the external ear canal. Foreign objects are often placed in the ear by young children or by accident while trying to clean or scratch the ear. There is often an accompanying external ear infection. Removal of an object from the ear can be very difficult and should only be attempted by a physician. This can usually be done in the doctor's office or emergency room, but sometimes general anesthesia must be used if the object is lodged too deeply in the ear or the patient (usually a child) is uncooperative. It is important to remember that the most common reason an ear is injured from a foreign object is because of inadvertent damage incurred during the removal of the object. Insects or bugs may also become trapped in the ear. Small gnats may become caught in the wax and cannot fly out. They can often be washed out with warm water. Larger insects or bugs may not be able to turn around in the narrow canal. If the insect or bug is still alive, first kill it by filling the ear with mineral oil. This will suffocate the insect. Then see your doctor to have it removed.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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