Mohawks and Gauges in Ears and Noses

gaugeToday was a double-header!  Another reason why Don’t Stick Sticks Up Your Nose! Don’t Stuff Stuff In Your Ears! might be a great read for adults:  This 27 year old woman came in today because she was found to have a #foreign object in her left ear.  Attempt at removal by another medical professional was unsuccessful and may have pushed the object deeper into the ear canal. 

She was sent to me for the object’s removal.  I used a microscope to look into the ear while keeping my hands free to remove this object which turned out to be an ear #gauge. Ear gauges are the most common form of body part stretching.( It must have “fallen in” a few months ago, the patient reported, and hasn’t caused a problem until now. 

I guess it is possible that the object fell in, but how could it get from the earlobe to the ear canal?  Well, it is out now and there was no damage to the eardrum.  I don’t think it has dissuaded the patient from piercing and putting in gauges in the future.

The second part of this double-header involves this uber-cool young man with his #Mohawk. His history included the treatment of 6 sinus infections in the last 9 months. That’s a lot! The curious thing was that all of the infections occurred from the left side of his nose.  What does that suggest? 

Multiple episodes of pus or infection from one side of the nose is a foreign object until proven otherwise. 

Now, let’s talk about the coolness of the young guy:  He let me spray his nose with a decongestant and numbing medicine, thencotton he let me put a small piece of cotton moistened with more decongestant and numbing medicine in his nose. 

After we waited about 5 minutes, I removed the cotton I had placed then I looked into his nose with a small telescope.  Low and behold, amongst the pus and inflamed tissue, was a piece of fibrous material similar to cotton.  I gently removed it and tossed it in the garbage.  In retrospect, the object has probably been in his nose for the last 9 months… He will do fine. (He probably won’t put stuff in his nose again).

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




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