How to Remove an Insect From Your Ear
Summer is here and the bugs are out. Ready to party! Bug sprays are now in demand. Hopefully, you use one that is all natural.
So, you hear some loud buzzing sounds only to find out that the noise is actually coming out of your own ears. Yes, it could happen and having a live insect in your ear can be very annoying and concerning. Some insects can go through our ears like moths, beetles, gnats and other small winged insects. However, when they enter our ears, they cannot fly or crawl out anymore and hence can get stuck in the ear. They will try their way out and that is what becomes annoying and concerning. Their movements inside our ears can be very uncomfortable, painful, itchy and scary. Some can easily produce infection.
Structure of the Outer and Inner Ear Canal
Do not try to remove an insect with cotton swabs, tweezers or hair clips like bobby pins. This can make it worse and can lodge the insect deeper into your ear canal and may damage your eardrum, which can cause permanent hearing loss.
Best to seek medical attention as soon as possible. However, you can also get rid of it immediately by the following techniques.
- Keep Calm - if it is your child or someone else, ask them to stay calm and give him or her re-assurance. Don’t panic.
- Put the person in a comfortable position – lean over or lie on a flat surface with the affected ear facing upward.
- Get some oil (baby oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, mineral oil) – stay still and pour in oil gently through the affected ear. This will stop the insect from moving around inside the ear and the insect will eventually die. NOTE: If any of this oil is not readily available, you may use clean water but make sure to slowly pour it through.
- Optional step - Wet a cotton ball with alcohol. Squeeze it and let droplets of alcohol go through the ear. Be careful, this may sting and can be painful. The alcohol will evaporate but the smell will pressure the insect to come out. This will also disinfect the ear. If you can't do this, proceed to number 5.
- Flush the ear with warm water – use a syringe (without the needle) if one is available to swish it out. Otherwise, a measuring cup with a small spout will be good enough. Let the water slowly overflow and watch for the insect to be flushed out.
- Follow Up – make a follow up appointment with your doctor after this removal technique to ensure that you did not damage the inside of the ear during the course of removal.
Test Your Knowledge -1
Test your knowledge-2
To sum it up:
Kill the insect by drowning it. The emergency is over once the insect is dead. See your doctor as soon as possible.
Note 1: This process usually works. However, if for some reasons the insect decided to stick around and won’t come out, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Note 2: When the insect comes out, carefully check it for some missing parts, like the head, legs, etc. If you notice any part missing, again seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Did you know that earwax in small amounts could actually be useful for you?
It serves as natural cleanser as it moves out of the ear. It protects the skin of the ear canal and helps in the lubrication. Tests have also shown that it provides protection from bacteria, fungi, insects and water.
Author is NOT a medical practitioner. However, she is a certified First Aider and holds a degree in Medical Science. This information is only intended for First Aid purposes. Reader’s discretion is advised in using the techniques.
© 2013 CrisSp