FOREIGN BODIES IN EAR
Foreign bodies in the ear are commonly seen in children below 10 years of age.
Types of foreign bodies:
- Inorganic- Beads, rubbers, pencils, metallic balls are commonly inserted by children. In adults, broken ends of matchstick are commonly seen.
- Flying or crawling insects may enter the ear canal and cause intense irritation and pain.
- Maggots- Flies are attached to foul ear discharge. Chloroform diluted water is instilled into the ear to kill the maggots.
Methods of removal of foreign bodies:
- Syringing- this can be done with warm water or saline for non-hygroscopic, non-traumatic foreign bodies.
2. Forceps removal- Irregular soft foreign bodies like piece of cotton, sponge, can be removed by fine crocodile forceps. However, this can be done in cooperative patients.
3. Microscopic removal under General Anesthesia- Impacted foreign bodies, usually long-standing causing Otitis Externa, can be removed by this method.
4. Postural approach- This is rarely required except for foreign body like bullet pellet, etc penetrating into the middle ear or deep in the meatus.
All impacted foreign bodies or those whose earlier attempts of removal have failed, uncooperative patients, General Anesthesia is preferred.