Objectives: Foreign bodies (FBs) in external auditory canal (EAC) can occur at any age but are especially common in children and adolescents. The aims of the study were to evaluate the clinical characteristics of EAC FBs in children and adolescents and to discuss their proper management. Methods: A retrospective medical chart review was performed on patients who were treated for EAC FBs in a tertiary referral center from January 2007 to December 2017. We investigated the parameters of age, sex, type of FB, sedation method, complications, and removal strategy. Results: Of 284 patients, 176 (62.0%) were male. Peak incidences were noted at the ages of 3 to 6 years and 17 to 18 years. The frequently observed FBs were insects, followed by air-gun pellets, cotton balls, marbles, and earrings. Forty-one (14.4%) EAC FBs were removed with the naked eye, while 243 (85.6%) were removed under microscope in the otolaryngology department. Of these patients, 23 (9.5%) were administered sedatives and 1 (4.1%) needed general anesthesia. During or after the removal procedure, 4 (15.5%) patients had complications of EAC abrasion or laceration (42, 14.8%), and tympanic membrane perforation (2, 0.7%). Conclusions: External auditory canal FB showed a distinct characteristic of incidence regarding age, related to removal strategies. Characteristics of FB must be considered for safe removal.
- external auditory canal
- foreign body