Unusual Foreign Bodies in the Ear, Nose & Throat


foreign objects in the ear, nose and throat

Ticks in ears and batteries in noses. You’d be surprised by the types of foreign objects ENT doctors remove from someone’s ear, nose and throat on a regular basis, especially children!

ENT specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Monroe, recounts some of the most bizarre, dangerous and downright weird objects that he’s removed from ears, noses and throats over the years.

Things can get stuck in people’s ears, nose or throat in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s accidental and uncontrollable, other times it may be the result of a curious child innocently sticking something in their nose or ear. Either scenario can be equally scary for the patient and their parent or caregiver.

A very common foreign body we find in children’s ears are small plastic objects such as beads and small toys. In adults, the cotton tip of a Q-tip is commonly left behind in the ear after attempted cleaning of the ear.

foreign object in ear- insect, tick, cockroach, waspForegin object in ear- bug in earForeign object in ear - knitting needleForeign object in nose - can pop top

Perhaps the most unusual thing I’ve pulled out of someone’s ear was a tick. The tick was attached to the ear drum and had to be killed with alcohol before extracting it. Other insects like wasps and roaches are occasionally encountered inside the ear as well.

Knitting Needle
The most dangerous object I’ve removed from the ear was a knitting needle that a child pushed through her ear drum permanently deafening that ear.

As with ears, children will put plastic toys and beads in their noses. On one occasion I removed a small battery from a child’s nose. The battery had been present for a long time and had actually perforated the septum. In these types of situations, a child with a foreign body in the nose frequently presents with a foul smelling discharge from the nose due to infection caused by the foreign body.

Soda Can Top
Probably the weirdest thing I recall pulling out of nose was a soda can pop top aluminum lid.

Blow Dart
Any foreign body in the throat is a cause for concern as these can be lethal. A teenager I treated years ago fashioned a blow gun out of a tube of cardboard. Then a dart was made using a 3 inch straight needle with thread wound around its base. The dart was inserted into the end of the tube and the child took a deep breath while the tube was already in his mouth and inhaled the dart rather than expelling it. It went directly into his bronchial tree partially blocking his breathing. Removing it through a scope was successful but the dart could have killed him.

If you find yourself with something stuck in you or your child’s ear, nose or throat, the most important thing is to act quickly and see a doctor. Delaying removal increases the chances of an infection developing or worse. At Advanced Specialty Care, we offer same day, urgent care appointments in Danbury, Norwalk New Milford and Southbury, CT for situations like just like these. From pediatric to adult ENT and audiology, our doctors are able to diagnose and treat everything from strep throat and crayons in your child’s nose to thyroid disease and swallowing disorders.

ent-doc-7Dr. Jeffrey Monroe, ENT

If you have questions about or would like to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Fairfield or Litchfield County office locations in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield or Southbury, please call our office at (203) 830-4700 or simply click here to fill out an appointment request form

Advanced Specialty Care is a multi-specialty private practice caring for patients in Fairfield County, CT for over 30 years. We are committed to the well-being of our patients. In addition to Ear, Nose & Throat, we have expertise in Head and Neck Surgery, Allergy & Asthma,Audiology, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Dermatology and Skin Care and Hand Surgery. Our six, convenient Connecticut offices include, Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Southbury and Stamford.

You May Also Be Interested In:

Blog: Should You Use Q Tips for Cleaning Ears?

Blog: Eardrum Damage from a Perforated Eardrum

Blog: I’m Having Difficulty Swallowing. What Could be the Problem?


Topics: Audiology, Blog, Dr. Jeffrey Monroe, Ear, Nose & Throat