There is a reason why Q-tips warn you never to use them in your ears. It is time for us to consider these tips, says the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

A 31-year-old healthy man contracted an infection in the brain wall as part of a cotton swab was unconsciously lodged in his ear, according to a case report.

The man arrived at an emergency room after having an epileptic seizure and collapsed. He had been complaining for 10 days of left ear pain and ear spills, as well as recent headaches, nausea and vomiting, as detailed in the peer review of doctors British in BMJ Case Reports. The man also reported suddenly having forgotten names.

The doctors discovered that he was suffering from a pain in the left ear and a hearing loss for five years. Her treating doctor had given her two different antibiotics to treat a "serious ear infection," the report says.

A reported case in England suggests that a cotton swab has pushed a man to contract an infection putting his life in danger. (Photo: HaywardGaude, Getty Images / iStockphoto)

It was indeed a serious infection – an infection that had progressed to bone located at the base of the skull and into the brain wall, the case report says. . The doctors decided to get into the ear of the man while he was under general anesthesia to see if they could identify the cause. What they found was the tip of a cotton swab, covered with wax, discharge and "debris". After the removal of the cotton swab, the man began to feel better.

At 10 weeks, the man reported no neurological problems and no residual ear symptoms. He also promised to stop using cotton swabs to clean his ears, the report says.

American Academy of Otolaryngology discourages the use of cotton swabs, fingers or any other tool to remove earwax, claiming that they could actually do more harm than good. Swabs can push earwax further into the ear canal and cause temporary or permanent damage.

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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