How to extract something from the ear
Having a foreign body in the ear can be annoying and, in some cases, even create a certain alarm. Children, in particular, have a tendency to insert small objects into their ears that can get stuck. Most of the time, fortunately, these are not accidents that require urgent medical attention. An object stuck in the ear can be easily removed at home or at the doctor’s office and usually does not cause lasting damage to health or hearing. However, if you can not see what’s inside, you need to be seen by a doctor to remove it.
Take the Due Precautions
1) Find out what’s stuck in your ear.
Although we can not always know how or why an object gets stuck in the ear, the treatment varies according to the nature of the foreign body. Try to identify it before deciding whether to let the doctor intervene.
In most cases, a foreign body remains stuck in the ear because it is usually intentionally inserted by a child. These could be food debris, a hair clip, a bead, a small toy, a pencil or a cotton swab. If you know what your child was doing before the symptoms appeared, you’ll be able to figure out what kind of object got stuck in his ear.
It may have accumulated earwax in the ear canal and hardened. The accumulation of ear wax can also develop due to overuse or abuse of cotton-fioc. Among the symptoms of this problem is the feeling that the ear is clogged or subjected to pressure. Sometimes, the build-up of ear wax can cause dizziness and loss of hearing.
Once entered into the ear, an insect can be a particularly alarming and annoying foreign body, but it is also the easiest to detect. You can hear the buzzing and feel its movements inside.
2) Determine if you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Although it creates discomfort, most often the entry of a foreign body into the ear does not constitute an accident that requires urgent medical attention. If you can not remove it yourself, you can wait for the next day to visit. However, in some cases, it is necessary to go immediately to the emergency room to avoid more serious damage.
If it is something sharp, seek immediate medical attention, because complications could arise within a short time.
It may happen that a child introduces a button battery into the ear. It is a small round object, usually used to make watches or small household appliances work. Immediately seek the doctor if your child puts it in your ear. The chemicals inside can leak out and cause serious damage to the ear canal.
Urgently seek medical assistance if food or a body of plant origin gets stuck in the ear. Inflating due to moisture, it could damage it.
Consult your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as swelling, fever, secretions, bleeding, hearing loss, dizziness or rapid increase in pain. 19 APRIL 2018
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3) Know what you must not do.
Often the irritation caused by a foreign body in the ear is so strong that it leads us to act without considering the consequences. When something gets stuck in your ear, know that it hurts more than good to use self-medication products sold in pharmacies.
Do not use cotton buds to remove a foreign body from the ear. We believe they are a universal remedy when we have a problem with our ears, but they are not appropriate if we want to remove a foreign body. In fact, they can push it deeper into the ear canal.
Do not try to solve the problem by introducing a liquid into the ear. Many pharmacies sell ear irrigation devices equipped with suction cups or syringes. Although they are useful for the daily care of the ears, do not use them in the absence of the doctor when something gets stuck inside.
Do not use the ear drops until you know what is causing the ear discomfort. When a foreign body enters the ear canal, you may experience the same symptoms as an ear disease. Ear drops can make the problem worse, especially if the jammed object has pierced the eardrum.
Use Home Remedies
4) Shake your head.
First of all, you have to lower your head and use gravity to get the foreign body out. Tilt it to the side taking care that the affected ear is facing the floor. Sometimes this is enough to get rid of an object stuck inside.
To facilitate the escape of the object by slightly altering the shape of the ear canal, pull the auricle, which is the outermost part of the ear (not the lobe, but the cartilage that begins on the top of the ear and extends to the lobe ). Shaking it, you can remove the object, after which gravity will do the rest.
Do not strike your head and do not hit it sideways. You can gently shake it, but hitting it may cause further damage.
5) Remove the foreign body with a pair of tweezers.
You should use this method only if a portion of the object sticking out and you can easily remove it with a pair of tweezers. Do not introduce them into the ear canal. If it is a child’s ear, it is preferable to avoid extracting the object in this way. In these cases, it is better to consult the paediatrician or the doctor.
Clean the tweezers with warm water and antibacterial soap before use. Sometimes a foreign body can puncture the eardrum or cause bleeding and irritation within the ear canal, increasing the risk of infections.
Grab the foreign body with tweezers and pull. Be gentle and proceed slowly to prevent the object from breaking before it is eliminated.
Do not use this method if the foreign body is so deep that you can not see the tip of the tweezers while trying to pull it out. Do not use it even if the person cannot remain still. In these cases, it is preferable to seek medical advice.
6) Apply an oil to kill the insect.
If an insect has been inserted into the ear, it could cause an enormous discomfort due to the buzz and movements. There is also the risk that it pung. By killing it, you will facilitate the extraction.
Do not try to remove it with your fingers, otherwise, it may sting you.
Tilt the head sideways so that the affected ear is facing the ceiling. If it is an adult, pull the lobe backwards and upwards. If it’s a child, pull it back and down.
Mineral oil, olive oil and baby oil are the most suitable. It is preferable to use the first one, if available.  Before use, make sure it is hot, but not boiling or heated in the microwave, otherwise it may burn your ear. A small drop is sufficient, about the same amount used to apply the ear drops.
In theory, the insect should drown or suffocate in oil and escape floating towards the final part of the ear.
You should only use oil if you are trying to extract an insect. If the ear is sore, bleeds or produces secretions, it is likely that the eardrum has pierced. In these cases, it is not prudent to use the oil, so refrain if these symptoms occur.
After using this method, consult your doctor to make sure all insect residues have been removed.
7) Take precautions so that accidents of this kind do not occur in the future.
Warn the child to keep any small objects away from ears, mouth and other orifices. If you are under five, watch it carefully when there are tiny objects around. Pay particular attention to button batteries and things of spherical or circular shape. Keep them in a safe place, out of reach of children.
Consult the doctor
8) Prepare for the appointment.
If none of the suggested home remedies worked, you should contact your doctor. However, before calling it, collect the necessary information. If it is a child, ask him in what conditions exactly happened the accident. It will probably be more inclined to tell what happened to a person who knows rather than to the doctor.
More importantly, you should explain to the doctor what is stuck in your ear and how long you have been inside it. In this way, it will have a clearer idea of the threats it might entail.
You should also tell him what happened after the accident. Have any side effects occurred? Have you tried to remove the object? If so, how did you proceed and what was the result?
9) Check if the ear needs irrigation.
To remove the foreign body, your doctor may suggest that you irrigate the ear canal with water or saline. This is a rather simple and quick procedure.
Usually, a syringe is used to introduce lukewarm sterile water into the auditory canal.
If it works, this procedure allows you to free the ear from any foreign bodies.
Do not use this method alone. It is better for a doctor to apply it.
10) Let the doctor remove the object with a pair of medical tweezers.
Although with this method at home you have not achieved any results, the doctor will have the necessary tools to remove the foreign body from the ear more easily.
It will use the otoscope, an instrument used to illuminate and observe the ear canal, together with the medical tweezers. The doctor will have less difficulty controlling the movement of the tweezers and preventing them from compromising the delicate internal structure of the ear.
He will use a pair of special tweezers, designed specifically for the ears, or hooked tools to gently pull the stuck foreign body.
If the object is made of metal, it could also use a long instrument with magnets that will facilitate extraction.
11) See if your doctor prefers to use a suction cup to remove the object.
The doctor will hold a small catheter near the foreign body while using a suction cup to gently aspirate it.
Generally, this method is used to preferably remove solid objects, such as buttons and beads, rather than organic material, such as food or insects.
12) Prepare to be sedated.
It is a procedure used above all with infants and children, as they have difficulty remaining calm and firm when subjected to the extraction methods described so far. Doctors recommend anaesthesia to prevent sudden movement causing damage and accidents to the internal structure of the ear.
If your doctor has warned you that you may be anaesthetized, avoid eating or drinking 8 hours earlier.
Follow all the instructions the doctor gave you before leaving. Probably will ask you to monitor the child’s behaviour in case of complications. Listen carefully and clear up any doubts you may have.
13) Follow the instructions if you have a perforated eardrum.
It may happen that a foreign object pierces the eardrum. In this case, the doctor will prescribe a cure.
Symptoms of perforated eardrum include pain, discomfort, impression that the ear is clogged, stunning, bleeding or secretions.
Typically, a perforated eardrum will heal by itself within two months. However, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics to prevent infection and also advise you to keep your ears clean and dry during the healing process.
14) Ask the doctor how the healing will proceed.
After the visit, you probably will not advise swimming or soak your ear in the water for 7-10 days, in order to reduce the risk of infections. Cover the affected ear with Vaseline and a cotton swab when taking a shower or bath.
Usually, the doctor recommends returning to visit after a week to make sure the ear is healing properly and to exclude secretions, bleeding or pain.
Do not try to remove foreign bodies with your fingers. Risks of pushing them further into the ear canal.
Since young children have difficulty describing a problem to adults, learn to recognize the symptoms that could occur if a foreign body were to get stuck in the ear. For example, keep an eye on if they cry uncontrollably, have redness and swelling around the ear or pull the lobe.
Immediately ask a doctor for help if the introduction of a foreign body into the ear is followed by flu-like symptoms.