Mum nearly dies from brain infection after using a cotton bud to clean her ears

Mum nearly dies from brain infection after using a cotton bud to clean her ears

A MUM has revealed she nearly died from a brain infection after using a cotton bud to clean her ears.
Jasmine Small, 38, spent months being unable to hear out of her left ear – but claims she was initially dismissed by doctors.
Jasmine Small Jasmine Small, 38, nearly died from a brain infection after using a cotton bud to clean her ears
She also had pain when cleaning her ears and often noticed a smelly, brown discharge – and sometimes blood.
The mum-of-four, from New South Wales, Australia, was given antibiotics but said they didn’t help.
Eventually in 2017, she was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who carried out a CT scan.Loose strand
He discovered an infection deep inside her ear – extremely close to her brain – caused by a loose strand of cotton from an ear bud.
Ms Small told 7 News: “He [the doctor] said, ‘what have you put in your ear?’ I said, ‘cotton buds’. He said, ‘how far do you go down?’’
“He said, ‘if you put this off any longer you probably would’ve died’.”
She was told she’d have to undergo an operation immediately, forcing her to cancel her honeymoon.
Permanent damage
The surgery was a success but sadly her hearing was permanently damaged.
She has been given the option of having further surgery to try and restore it, or have a hearing aid installed.
Ms Small said: “To have a hearing aid at 38, it’s not right.”
Doctors believe the cotton could have been there for up to five years.
But Ms Small said while she did experience some ear aches, it wasn’t until 2016 that her hearing began to fade.
Another case
A similar case was reported on earlier this month after a man in Coventry was left battling a deadly brain infection from using a cotton bud to clean his ears.
Doctors believe part of a bud got lodged in the 31-year-old’s ear five years before he collapsed and suffered a fit.
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.
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Surgeons operated to remove the infection and found the missing tip of the cotton bud.
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.How to correctly clean inside ears
According to draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), you should never put cotton buds in your ears.
But a recent survey by YouGov found that just 12 per cent of Brits use cotton buds correctly – while 62 per cent are using them to dig out ear wax.
Experts say they could push wax even further into the ear canal and damage the eardrum.
Instead, they suggest ear irrigation should be used to help those who are experiencing hearing problems due to wax build-up.
This involves an electronic machine safely pumping water into the ear to remove wax under the guidance of a GP.
Yahoo7/Jasmine Small She had a CT scan which found a loose strand of cotton from an ear bud was trapped in her ear
Yahoo7/Jasmine Small Jasmine, who was told she could have died if it had been left any longer, had an emergency operation to remove the cotton

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