Foreign bodies are commonly seen by the Ear, Nose and Throat emergency team with cotton wool being the most common aural foreign body seen in the adult population. Most complications secondary to aural foreign bodies described in the literature are minor and rarely require any surgical intervention. Here, we present two cases with impacted cotton wool as aural foreign bodies which resulted in suppurative labyrinthitis and osteomyelitis causing profound sensorineural hearing. These cases highlight the importance of considering aural foreign bodies in the differential diagnosis in those presenting with unilateral symptoms as significant complications, although rare, can occur, particularly in those with delayed diagnosis.
- ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
- general practice/family medicine
- otolaryngology / ENT
- emergency medicine
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Contributors NW took leadership of the data analysis and interpretation and was the main contributor to the article draft and revisions. He has given final approval of the version to be published. MAMS was involved in the conception and design of the work, data collection, data interpretation, critical revision of the article and has given final approval of the version to be published. TT was involved in data collection, critical revision of the article and has given final approval of the version to be published. RRL was involved in the conception and design of the work completed, critical revision of the article and has given approval of the version to be published.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
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