As we have discussed in previous articles, having a live insect in your ear can be very disconcerting to say the least. The natural human tendency is to try and get the bug out of your ear as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this isn't the easiest task to accomplish and if done incorrectly can lead to permanent hearing loss.
How to know if a bug is in your ear
- People with a bug in their ear often report the following symptoms: popping, crunching, fluttery, ticklish, or buzzing sound in the affected ear.
- There are a number of insects that can and will enter your ear. Of the many types of insects that can get into ears, gnats, moths, and roaches are the most common. Gnats get tangled in the wax and cannot fly out. Bigger insects cannot turn around; neither can they crawl backwards. They keep on struggling, and their motion can be painful and frightening.
- Your best bet is to seek qualified medical treatment. If no medical treatment is available, use the following steps.
- First the safety warning: Never try to remove an insect with tweezers, bobby pins, cotton swabs or any other object. This can lodge the insect deeper in the ear canal. It can also damage the ear drum leading to permanent hearing loss. Don't do it!
- Stay Calm. If you are treating someone else, especially a child, stay calm. This will help your patient stay calm as well.
- Have the patient lean over with their ear facing upwards.
- Fill the ear with baby oil, mineral oil, vegetable oil or olive oil. This will kill the insect and cause it to stop moving. If you don't have access to one of the oils listed above, you can attempt to use clean water only.
- Flush the ear with warm water allowing it to overflow. Watch carefully for the insect to be flushed out.
- If you are unable to fully remove the insect using this technique, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: Jake is not a medical doctor. The information and techniques present on this website are provided as a public service and should not be considered sound medical advice. If you experience any of the symptoms listed on this website, you should seek sound medical advice as soon as possible.