First Aid When Something is Alive in Your Ear

A blow to the side of the head that results in significant swelling or bleeding from the outer ear, bleeding from the ear canal, or loss of hearing should he evaluated by a physician as soon as possible. Ear pain that is not associated with trauma usually arises from infection of the ear canal or middle ear and will also need medical assessment.

Removing Objects from the Ear

Occasionally a child will insert a small object (such as a bead or a small bean) into an ear and cannot remove it. Less commonly, a small insect may crawl into a child’s ear canal. While the sensations experienced by the child can be annoying, neither of these situations poses a threat to hearing, and both parent and child should try to remain calm.

  • It may be possible to remove the object/insect at home by following these steps:
  • If an insect has entered the ear canal, put a few drops of oil (mineral, baby, or vegetable) or peroxide in the ear canal.
  • If you can see the object or insect in the ear, carefully remove it with tweezers – but only if it is clearly visible at the opening of the ear canal.
  • If you cannot see the object clearly or if it is deeper within the ear canal, tilt your child’s head to the side of the injured ear.
  • If this doesn’t work, leave the child alone. Attempting to remove the object may damage the ear. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.