Foreign Body in the Ear - A guide to Hearing Loss

Our ears are open and exposed which makes it very easy for a foreign body to become lodged within. In many cases the object has been put there deliberately: toddlers and small children are particularly fond of this exercise and tend to insert small toys, pencils, pens or any other object that looks vaguely interesting into their ears.

Adults tend to experience this if they participate in outdoor activities and sports such as walking, running and cycling. Insects are the usual culprits here but tend to fly out without any ill effects. The only insect that can cause a problem is a wasp or bee which if it gets inside the ear, may sting which will result in a swollen, painful ear. Another potential risk is that where a battery from a hearing aid becomes detached from this device and slips into the ear. If your hearing aid suddenly loses power then check it to see if the battery has fallen out. Another indicator is if your hearing is worse than usual but it can be difficult to tell if your hearing loss is severe to begin with.

And a final risk is that caused by cotton wool buds or other objects used to clean the ears. This may seem like an effective way of removing ear wax but experts advise against doing so as there is a strong possibility of pushing the wax deeper within the ear. Or the object in question may break off and become implanted within the ear leading to an infection.

Whatever the type of object; if it has become lodged within your ear and is causing a blockage then this will cause dizziness (your balance will be affected), discomfort and a degree of hearing loss. Your hearing will feel muffled and sounds will be less distinct.

Treatment for a foreign body in the ear

Most types of foreign body will make their own way out of your ear. But, if the object is still there after a day, has caused bleeding or a large degree of swelling then see your GP or your nearest A & E department.

Hearing Loss

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