It seems like each day, there’s a new horror in the news about everyday objects and how they can potentially cause serious harm to us. From eyeliners, to contact lenses, to something as innocuous as a whipped cream container. The possibilities of such objects are not only endlessly beneficial but can also be harmful too. Today, that innocent item is a cotton swab, which, apparently, can give you a deadly infection in the brain.
In a report by Live Science, a British man, 31 years of age, got a dangerous infection caused by bacteria in the lining of his skull, also called necrotizing otitis externa. He caught the infection after using a cotton swab to clean out his ears. A small piece of the cotton got stuck in the ear canal, which then moved toward his brain’s lining. The infection caused headaches, vomiting, and even loss of memory.
Fortunately, he didn’t die from the infection. The man reported feeling pain in his ear as well as the presence of discharge. Within 10 days from the onset of those symptoms, he collapsed and experienced a seizure that promptly brought him to the hospital. Upon admission, the doctors made him go through a CT scan where they found the cotton, and they performed surgery in order to extract it.
It seemed that the man had already been experiencing ear pain and hearing loss for more than 5 years, and upon removal of the cotton, it was impacted with wax and debris, suggesting that it has been in his ear for quite some time. After the operation, he was required to take a concoction of antibiotics to help treat the infection and stayed in the hospital for almost a week.
At present, he is free from infection and reports to say that he doesn’t experience any negative effects in his ears or brain. It does, however, seem like a rather rare case, nevertheless, it’s still something to think about the next time you go and clean your ears. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.