Objects In Ear - Causes

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If known, how did an object get inside your or your child's ear?

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What are causes of objects in the ear?

Most objects that get stuck in the ear canal are placed there by the person themselves. Children who are curious about their bodies and interesting objects, are the most common group who has this problem (children aged 9 months to 8 years). Beads, food (especially beans), paper, cotton swabs, rubber erasers, and small toys are the most common foreign bodies.

Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance in the ear canal but can become a problem when it builds up to the point that it clogs the ear canal, and causes hearing loss or pain. Overuse of cotton swabs such as Q-tips to clean the ear can actually push wax and skin cell debris further into the canal and pack it against the eardrum causing symptoms.

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

Structure of the Outer and Inner Ear Canal

Picture of Ear Canal and Inner Ear Structure

Return to Objects Or Insects In Ear

See what others are saying

Comment from: laura2014, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

Two years ago the whole cotton tip of a Q-tip got stuck in my ear, I only pulled the stick out. I have been to 2 doctors, and due to extremely small ear canals no one can get the tweezers in there to remove it because they cannot be opened up. I have to move it around at times but I don't have health insurance and cannot afford an ear specialist. I have tried to get it out, without success.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: niknik, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 31

A bug flew in my ear while lying in bed. A moth flew out once I was at the emergency room.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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