Foreign Body, Ear (cont.)
Treatment will largely depend on the location and object or objects involved. Do not be surprised if your doctor uses his or her own unique technique to remove an object. Years of experience often provide innovative techniques that are safe and effective.
- Commonly used techniques include applying gentle suction to the object, small forceps, or instruments that have a loop or hook at the tip.
- If the object is metallic, a long instrument may be magnetized to assist in gently pulling the object from the ear.
- Another common technique involves irrigating the ear. If the eardrum appears intact, warm water can be gently squirted past the object using a small catheter. The water will turn around at the end of the ear canal and often wash the object out.
- Any experienced professional can tell you that children typically struggle with these techniques. Struggling will decrease the likelihood of success and increase the chance for complications. Sedation of the child may be considered an option to allow calm and comfortable removal of the object, if necessary.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor III, MD