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Foreign Body Removal

Foreign body removal is performed when a foreign object, or objects, are removed from the human body. The most common removals performed are to retrieve objects from the ear, but they can also be from other areas of the body such as the nose or eye. Children account for eighty percent (80%) of foreign body removal cases; however, it’s not uncommon for adults to need foreign body removal treatment, as well.

What are the most common foreign objects found & where?

In adults, the foreign bodies most commonly found are located in the ear. Most often, these foreign bodies are insects such as cockroaches, ants, moths and flies. Typically, most adults and older children will know there is an object in their ear, but will be unaware of how the object entered. In young children, the most common foreign bodies are small objects such as beads, pebbles, food, buttons, or plastic toys. Unlike with adults, these objects are usually placed voluntarily.

How do I know if I have something stuck in my nose?

Similar to foreign objects stuck in the ear, the most common symptom of an object being stuck in one’s nose will be discomfort or pain in the affected area. Nasal discharge or bleeding may also occur.

A baby girl is indoors in a daycare center. She is playing with toy blocks and trying to put one into her mouth.

How do I know if I have something stuck in my ear?

Due to the sensitivity of the ear canal, you will often feel pain in the ear where the foreign object is located before any other signs appear. If the foreign object is blocking your ear canal, you may also experience a decrease in ability to hear. Bleeding or drainage from the ear may also be present. Additionally, you may feel nauseated and have the urge to vomit due to irritation of the inner ear.

How are objects typically removed from the ear/nose?

The method for foreign body removal will often depend on the location of the object and the type of object that needs to be removed. One common removal technique is the use of gentle suction or small tweezers to grasp the object. If the object is metallic, a magnetized instrument may be used to assist in removing the object from the ear. Another common technique is the use of irrigation to wash the object out of the ear with warm water. Additionally, a soft rubber catheter may be used to remove objects found in the nose.

We understand that accidents happen, so when a patient tells us, “I have something stuck in my ear,” or “I have something stuck in my nose,” our medical providers quickly jump into action to remove the object safely. If you do not receive immediate care when an item gets stuck deep in your ear canal, it can lead to severe pain and/or hearing loss.

The medical practitioners at Midwest Express Clinic urgent care are often able to remove the foreign body in our office. However, it will depend on the location of the foreign body, type of material, and whether it’s graspable or not. Patients with an air duct blocked, or those who are choking, should call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you have something stuck in your ear or nose, don’t hesitate to visit one of our Midwest Express Clinic locations.


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