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Have you ever had an insect in your ear?

It can actually happen that an insect finds its way into your ear. At first, you may not even notice it, but your ear starts to itch. Then, when you see a doctor, he finds the little culprit in your ear.

In this case, your ear, nose, and throat doctor will perform an ear lavage to get the insect back out.

For example, one woman in China experienced something like this. After feeling an itch in her ear for four days, she went to see her doctor. This discovered actually something in her ear, which did not belong there so at all. A jumping spider had crawled into the sleeping woman's ear and made itself at home there. But because the spider did not want to move out again voluntarily, the doctor had to help.

Spiders in the ear

In Australia, a man named Hendrik Helmer was plagued by severe pain in his ear during the night. He feared that an Australian venomous spider had taken up residence in his ear, and at first performed an ear irrigation with water himself. In the end, the uninvited guest could only be unmasked in the hospital: A doctor found a 2 cm long cockroach in his ear canal. The doctor had to kill the cockroach first to be able to free the man from it afterwards.

In India, a similar thing happened to an ear patient. A live cricket had made itself comfortable in the man's ear. The man felt severe ear pain, so he went to the doctor in the hospital. Crickets are among the insects that hide in a narrow burrow during the day and then are active at night, and this specimen had found the man's ear canal to be a good burrow.

Is an earwig in the ear dangerous?

Perhaps the idea is particularly unpleasant for you, what from the realm of insects could look for a cave at night in your immediate vicinity. There are, for example, many horror stories around the earwig. Earwigs are also nocturnal, and they have special pincers with which they can supposedly injure the drumskin of a human. However, this is actually a myth, because although these insects have considerable pincers, the name is misleading. However, earwigs were actually used for medicinal purposes in earlier times. In fact, in the Middle Ages, they were ground up to be used for ear diseases. At that time, it was believed that the powder from them would help with inflammation or earache of the ear canal.

Other countries, other customs

If you spend your nights in the great outdoors, then it can already happen that an insect settles in your ears. For this reason, the ancient Egyptians already used a special headrest. This minimized the risk of an intruder making its way into your nose, mouth or ears. However, the sleeping comfort left much to be desired.

In some African cultures, it is perfectly normal to sleep on the ground. As a result, people are directly exposed to many insects and need appropriate protective measures against them. It is known from some peoples that they rest sideways on their elbows to sleep. This involves resting the head either on the shoulder or on the palm of the hand. This makes it harder for the insect to reach the elevated head position and find an unprotected body entrance such as the ears, nose or mouth.

The right way to deal with an insect in your ear

If you do indeed feel that an insect has moved into your ear, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Perhaps it is comforting for you to know that such cases are extremely rare. Nature has developed a sophisticated natural defense mechanism. Did you know that insects are deterred by the bitter substances contained in your earwax?

Valuable tips for such situations:

In any case, you should stay calm. Even if the thought triggers panic in you, you should know that in most cases the insects crawl out of your ear again on their own.

See a doctor immediately, who can remove the insect professionally with the right instruments. That way, you'll avoid unnecessary damage to your ear.

If it is not possible for you to have the creepy-crawly removed by a doctor right now, you can do the following: Tilt your head so the affected ear is facing up. Now put vegetable oil, for example olive oil, into the ear. Wait a few minutes for the oil to take effect. This will kill the insect. Then rinse your ear with lukewarm water. Check if the insect is complete. If any parts of the animal are missing, you should go to the doctor immediately. Be sure to have your ear examined so you can rule out injury.

You should never try to remove the insect from the ear canal with tweezers or any other object. By doing so, you might only bring the insect deeper into your ear canal, and in the worst case, it might bite. There's a risk of injuring your drumskin.

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