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November 1988

Otogenic Reflex Cough: Implanted Hair in the Bony External Auditory Canal

Author Affiliations

Bahrain Defence Force

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(11):1334. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860230128042

To the Editor.—Reflex dry cough from vagal stimulation (auriculovagal reflex) by impacted cerumen or a foreign body in the external auditory canal can occur.1,2 Implanted hair in the bony external auditory canal causing similar symptoms is not yet reported in the literature, to our knowledge. We now report a case that was referred to us by our colleagues, after they were unable to find a cause for a middle-aged patient's cough, in spite of an extensive investigation of his problem. While examining his ears, it was remarkable to find a few implanted hairs on the skin of the posterior bony canal touching the eardrum. Also, there were a few loose hairs impacted on the eardrum itself. On further questioning, he was found to be an obsessive "self–ear-cleaner." After removal of these hairs, his symptoms disappeared. He was advised to abstain from self-cleaning his ears, and follow-up for three

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