If you’re wondering “how to remove foreign object from ear at home,” this post is for you!

If you or someone you know has a foreign object in ear it can be painful as well as potentially dangerous. Typically, you know if something is stuck in your ear, however small children may just be cranky, tug at their ear, or cry. Recognizing the symptoms and identifying that there is a foreign object in the ear are the first steps to overcoming the situation.

Foreign object stuck in ear

Objects (foreign bodies) inserted into the ear usually do not cause significant damage, but objects that are inserted forcefully can damage the ear canal or penetrate the eardrum. Problems with objects in the ear most commonly occur in children younger than age 5 and in people who have problems with thinking and reasoning, such as an intellectual disability or Alzheimer's disease.

Foreign object in ear symptoms

The symptoms for a foreign objects in the ear can vary from a slight noise in your ear or an itch to bleeding and extreme pain. Usually, it isn’t so bad but typically you can also expect to have impaired hearing and maybe even poor balance. Young children usually arent able to communicate their symptoms as well so they are typically fussy or crying and sometimes will pull at their ear, so look at how they are behaving and be able to read the signs. 

How long can a foreign object stay in your ear

Some objects in the ear cause more problems than others, so it’s important to see the object and identify it so you know how to treat it.

An insect, small stone, or inert small object in the ear may cause minimal symptoms. A young child may complain of discomfort or unusual noises in the ear. In this case, it is reasonable to try to remove the object. If the object can't be removed, it may fall out on its own over the next 24 hours.

Food items that become stuck in the ear, especially dry foods, can expand when they become moist. Seeds, such as beans, peas, or popcorn, can swell from the moistness of the ear canal, making them harder to remove. The objects may cause pain and hearing loss as they expand to fill the ear canal. The irritation may cause a bad-smelling liquid to drain from the ear.

It’s not unusual for the tip or a piece of cotton from a cotton swab to become lodged in the ear canal. These can usually be gently removed with tweezers and should be tended to when it’s convenient. If the symptoms also include pain, discharge or blood, then the foreign object should be removed as soon as possible by a medical professional.

Watch batteries (also called button cell batteries) are more dangerous than other objects and should be removed immediately. The moist tissue in the ear canal can cause the battery to release strong chemicals (alkali) quickly, often in less than 1 hour. These chemicals can cause a severe burn and scarring in a little as 4 hours.

Foreign object in ear removal: How to get a foreign object out of your ear

If you want to know how to get a foreign object out of your ear this is a good place to start. First off, never poke or prod the object. Don’t use tools such as cotton swabs or matchsticks to pry an object out, they can push it deeper into the ear, and this may cause more damage. If the object is easy to see and grasp, you may be able to gently remove it with tweezers. 

Never use liquid to remove a foreigh object from your ear if there is a hole in the eardrum or if a child has ear tubes. If you see signs of a hole in the eardrum such as pain, bleeding or discharge, see a health care provider right away. Use a rubber-bulb syringe and warm water to wash the object out of the canal. Don't use water to remove batteries, food or plant material.

If you have an insect in your ear use oil or alcohol to remove it. Tilt the head so that the ear with the insect is upward, and pour alcohol or warm, but not hot, oil into the ear. The oil can be mineral oil, olive oil or baby oil. The insect should float out. Don't use oil if you think there is a hole in the eardrum or if ear tubes are in place.

How do doctors remove foreign objects from ears

If there is bleeding, severe pain, drainage or signs of infection, see a health care provider right away. Also, if you know the object is a battery, seek help right away. And if you can't easily see the object and you've tried removing it more than once, stop and get care. Delays and failed tries to remove it can lead to infection and damage. Doctors know best how to remove foreign object from ear so as soon as you recognize that the object is dangerous or going to be difficult to remove then you should seek professional help.

Shop ScopeAround Otoscopes Today

If you are experiencing pain, buzzing, or other ear issues, one of the best ways to begin solving the problem is to look in your ear. It’s possible you might have a foreign object in your ear and it’s important to try to identify that object before you proceed further. The best way to look in your ear is to use an otoscope camera and the best otoscopes for sale are compact digital ones like those made by ScopeAround.

ScopeAround brought the first digital otoscope with camera for consumers to the market over five years ago so we have more experience and customer feedback to make the best digital otoscopes available. We make a complete range of digital otoscope products including free-standing models to USB-connected, Lightning cable-connected, and WiFi-connected devices with an otoscope camera app for your mobile device. 


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