To evaluate the complications and effects produced by use of cotton bud tip in the ear for cleaning.
Place & Duration of study
This study was conducted from July 2005 to January 2007 at ENT Department, Sir Syed Medical College & Hospital Karachi.
Patients and methods
All patients having history of use of cotton buds were included. A thorough examination with aural speculum and auroscope was done. Few were examined with the help of microscope. Aural toilet was done by sucking out pus and with dry moping. Hearing assessment done primarily with tuning fork with 512HZ frequency. Pure tone audiometry used in selected cases.
Out of 100 patients 58 were males and 42 females with the mean age of 38.5 years (range from 7 years to 73 years). The most common complication / effect was unspecified itching in the ear in 34 cases, followed by otitis externa in 23, otomycosis in 15, trauma in the external auditory canal in 9, impacted wax medially leading to decreased hearing in 6, cotton tip foreign body in 5, boil in 4 and traumatic tympanic membrane perforation in 4 cases.
Use of cotton buds tip and match sick can lead to lot of complications including trauma to external auditory canal and tympanic membrane which can lead to perforation resulting in deafness. It should be avoided for the purpose of cleaning ears.