siliconeYesterday, I had to bring this 8 year old and very awesome young man, to the operating room.  We needed to have him under general anesthesia in order to get out this bright orange, flaking-apart, silicone ear plug stuff. 

He was trying to soften the sound of the family vacuum by putting this #earplug material in his ear.  Unfortunately, it got stuck in his ear. So his #Dad did what all Dads would do – try to remove it himself. It was not successful though. Remember people, a tweezer will not open when you put it into a narrow space; it stays closed. 

I figured that the silicone was pushed a little further in by a very well-meaning parent. Also, the staff at the Urgent Care tried to get it out, so that by the time I was able to attempt its removal, the material was deeper in the ear canal.  Also, the ear canal started to swell around the ear plug, making it really difficult for me to remove it. Also it was extremely difficult for this boy to sit quiet and still.  I was afraid that he would move quickly, and my instrument could injure his eardrum, so I aborted the mission.

Easily, I was able to slide it out in the operating room while he was under #anesthesia.  He did well, the material was out of his ear, and there was no damage to the eardrum.

I am sure that there was major damage to his parents wallet due to the copay related to the facility and anesthesia. My point here is that ear canal foreign bodies (and nasal foreign objects for that matter) are not just simple, funny occurrences now-a day.  Sometimes they are dangerous, rarely they are lifethreatening, and frequently – they are costly.

You know, if a mattress store sold the book “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” it would not affect mattress sales.  Unfortunately, some of your favorite #Crafts stores don’t want to carry this book because they think it would reduce bead sales!

Jerald S. Altman, M.D. is an Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon (ENT doctor) and is the coauthor of Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears! He was recognized as a Phoenix Top Doc in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Dr. Altman loves taking care of children’s ear, nose, and throat issues. After publishing many peer-reviewed journal articles, he recognized the need for a children’s book dealing with a common problem in his practice.

Check out our website at Follow @dontstickdont on Twitter and “Like” us at Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears! on Facebook. For questions, contact Dr. Altman at