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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Ear Foreign Bodies
      Category : Health Centers > Ears and Hearing Disorders

Ear Foreign Bodies

Alternate Names : Ear Foreign Objects

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

An ear foreign body is anything inside of the ear canal other than earwax. Foreign bodies that are commonly found in the ear are beads, beans, cotton swabs, paper clips, bugs, insects, and small toys.

What is going on in the body?

A number of objects can get into the ear canal. Once an object is inside, it becomes very difficult to remove. Due to the size of the ear canal, objects are very hard to grasp. Insects can also crawl or fly into the ear canal. Insects often do not have enough room to turn around inside of the ear canal and can become stuck. Organic material, such as food, often swells after contact with skin secretions and is harder to remove.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Causes of foreign bodies in the ear include:

  • putting a foreign body, such as food, beads, or toys, into the ear canal
  • an insect that crawls or flies into a person's ear
  • use of cotton swabs and cleaning too far into the ear canal
  • small particles that into the ear in a person with an occupation like welding or carpentry


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    Ear Foreign Bodies: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Vincent J. Toups, MD
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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