First-Aid for Foreign Object in the Ear

A foreign object lodged inside the ear can cause pain and can even lead to hearing loss. Adults and older children would know if something is stuck in their ear, but younger kids may not.

If a foreign object gets stuck in the ear, do the following steps:

Remove the object if possible

If the object is clearly visible, and can be easily grasped with tweezers, carefully remove it.

Use gravity

Try to dislodge the object by tilting the head to the affected side.

Do not try to remove it with a tool

If the object is stuck farther inside the ear, do not attempt to remove the object using a cotton swab or any other tool. Doing so may push the object farther into the ear and damage the fragile parts of the middle ear.

Use oil for insects

If the foreign object is an insect, tilt the head so that the ear with the stuck insect is upward. Try to float the insect out by pouring warm oil (mineral, olive, or baby oil) into the ear. Ease the entry of the oil by straightening the ear canal as you pour. For kids, pull the earlobe backward and downward gently; for adults, pull the earlobe backward and upward. The offending insect should suffocate and float out.

Do not use oil to remove other objects

Use oil to remove insects only. Do not use this technique if you suspect perforation in the eardrum – the person feels pain, or if there is bleeding or discharge from the ear.

If these steps fail or if the person continues to feel pain, or experience reduced hearing, or a sensation of something stuck in the ear, see a doctor.

Source: MayoClinic