Insects and Worms as Foreign bodies in ENT
Objects or insects in ear overview

Some are extremely uncomfortable (insects or sharp objects) and some can rapidly produce an infection (food or organic matter) requiring emergency treatment. If a person is not certain of the potential for harm in regard to an insect in the ear, seek medical care immediately.

What are causes of objects in the ear?

Insects can also fly or crawl into the ear canal. Usually this happens while sleeping on the floor or outdoors. This is often a frightening and dramatic event as the insect's buzzing and movement is very loud and sometimes painful.

Objects in ears and nose

Insects sometimes crawl into ears and cause significant pain.

Objects in the ear can be removed by flushing with sterile water or saline, using suction, or with forceps or other tools. A doctor may remove an insect by putting a topical anesthetic or mineral oil in the ear, which kills the insect, stops pain, and makes removal easier. Younger, more frightened children may need sedation or general anesthesia for these procedures.

Sharp objects, such as pencils, can perforate the child's eardrum. Perforations require evaluation by an ear specialist, but most heal by themselves over time without loss of hearing.

Objects stuck up the nose are of greater concern because they can obstruct the child's airway, cause infection, and be difficult to remove. Children are often scared to admit they put an object in their nose; many parents become aware of the problem only after the child develops persistent bleeding, a runny nose, a foul-smelling discharge, or difficulty breathing on one side of the nose only.

Doctors use a topical anesthetic and attempt to remove the object using suction or forceps. If these measures do not work, the doctor may need to sedate the child or give general anesthesia to remove the object.

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