Man develops killer BRAIN infection after using cotton buds to clean his ears

Man develops killer BRAIN infection after using cotton buds to clean his ears

A MAN was left battling a deadly brain infection after using cotton buds to clean his ears.
Doctors believe part of a bud got lodged in the man’s ear five years before he collapsed and suffered a fit.
BMJ Case Reports A man ended up with a deadly brain infection after an ear bud got lodged in his ear years earlier
The unnamed 31-year-old was rushed to A&E in Coventry after falling unconscious.
Medics discovered he had a bacterial infection, that started in his ear before spreading to the bone at the base of his skull, before infecting the lining of his brain.Headaches plagued patient for days before collapse
Dr Alexander Charlton, one of the specialists treating the patient, said he started suffering dangerous neurological symptoms.
The patient was rushed to hospital ten days after he noticed pain and discharge from his left ear.
He experienced nasty headaches on the left side of his head, so severe they made him vomit.
And he started to struggle to remember people’s names.
Symptoms started years earlier
But doctors suspect his symptoms began years earlier – well before his collapse.
The patient said his earache began around five years before, and also suffered hearing loss.
He had been treated for severe ear infections in his left ear twice.
Dr Charlton’s team sent the man for a CT scan to examine his brain.
It showed two abscesses – inflamed patches full of pus – in the bones at the base of his skull, next to his left ear canal.
It suggested to doctors that the infection had started in his ear, before spreading.
They diagnosed him with necrotising otitis externa, an infection of the soft tissue in the ear canal.
Docs found old ear bud tip lodged in patient’s ear
Surgeons operated to remove the infection and found the missing tip of the cotton bud.
It was impacted and surrounded in ear wax, suggesting it had been there for some time, Dr Charlton’s team noted in a medical case report.
The patient spent a week in hospital before taking two months of antibiotics to wipe out the infection.
Unsurprisingly, he was told never to use ear buds again.
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Dr Charlton said: “At the completion of his course of antibiotics, the patient remained well with no neurological deficit and no ear symptoms.
“Most importantly, he is no longer using cotton buds to clean his ears.”
And added they’ve been linked to ear infections, punctured ear drums and impacted ear wax.

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