Ear & Balance
Do you use earbuds regularly for music? This might interest you!
February 1, 2020
Dr Gan, an ENT Specialist at A Specialist Clinic for Sinus, Snoring & ENT @ Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre recently saw a patient who complained of a right blocked ear. She only realized it in the evening before her visit to the ENT clinic. To unblock her ear, she used a metal earpick in an attempt to remove what she thought was earwax buildup. However, her action resulted in a complete blockage of her right ear and caused a sharp pain.
On examination, there was a silicon earbud that was stuck in her right ear canal, just next to her right eardrum. This was removed with a forceps under endoscope guidance. On further questioning, Dr Gan found out that she does use earbuds frequently to listen to music during her commute to work.
It is not uncommon for Dr Gan to see patients with a foreign body in the ear canal. In adults, the most common foreign body in Dr Gan’s practice is a broken tip of the cotton bud. In children, beads, pebbles, seeds, small plastic toys are the most common culprit. It is important to see a doctor as soon as you suspect that there is a foreign body in the ear. One should never attempt to dig out the foreign body as most of the time by doing so, the foreign body is pushed deeper.