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Pain Management Health Center

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Objects in the Ear - Home Treatment

To remove an object from the ear:

  • Tilt the head to the side and shake it. Gently pulling the ear up and back may straighten the ear canal and help dislodge the object.
  • If the object is visible and the person is calm and cooperative, carefully try to remove the object with blunt-ended tweezers. Do not use non-gripping instruments, such as bobby pins, cotton swabs, or matchsticks. Use care not to push the object farther into the ear.
  • Do not try to remove an object if the person will not hold still.
  • Do not try to remove an object if it is so far inside the ear that you can't see the tips of the tweezers.
  • Do not try to flush an object out with water.
  • When trying to remove an object from a child's ear:
    • Speak to the child in a calm, relaxed voice. This will help control the child's fear.
    • An object that is not causing symptoms does not have to be removed right away. If the child is upset, it may be best to let him or her calm down before trying to remove the object.

To remove a disc battery from the ear:

If the battery is partially out of the ear, you may be able to remove it with your fingers or blunt-nosed tweezers.

  • Do not use non-gripping instruments, such as bobby pins, cotton swabs, or matchsticks.
  • Use care not to push the battery farther into the ear.
  • If a child resists or is not able to hold still, do not attempt to remove the battery.
  • Do not use eardrops or sprays of any type. This can cause the battery to corrode more quickly.

If you can't remove the battery, call your doctor. If you are not able to reach your doctor immediately, go directly to the nearest hospital emergency department. Do not place eardrops or other solutions of any kind in the ear in an attempt to remove the battery. Eardrops can cause the battery to corrode quickly, causing severe damage to the ear canal.

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