I Feel Something Moving in the Ear : What to do if a insect enters my ear?

Insect within the ear canal: how common is it?

What is the most common foreign body enter the ear?

According to one study, insects, i.e the cockroaches, is the most common foreign object that enter the ear (43.9%). Bead was the second common object being found (15.3%). 

How do I know if there is an insect inside my ear ? (Symptom of bug in the ear canal)

Yes there is an insect in my ear : what to do next ? (First aid)

How to remove the insect in the ear ? 

Once you suspect an insect had entered your ear, you should try your best to remain calm. To reduce the irritating and scary motion of the insect in the ear, you may want to instill some mineral oil or baby oil into the ear. This will slowly drown the insect so it does not move within your ear canal. Next, head to your nearest clinic or hospital to seek further help to extract the insect. The best solution is always not to attempt the insect removal on your own. This is to prevent you from self-injured the ear canal as it will lead to secondary infection and painful swelling of your ear canal, which subsequently make insect removal more challenging for the doctors.

Can I instill any ear drops for the insect inside my ear?

There are a variety of ear drops that may be prescribed to be instilled in the ear with insect. As mentioned above, as first aid measure, olive oil may be used to suffocate the insect prior to removal of doctor or own-self at home. Another drug that is also commonly used, which is a local anesthetic drug called lidocaine. This drug acts by immediately paralyzing the insect within the ear, which is faster as compared to the mineral oil. A live insect with struggling movement within the ear will render fear and much anxiety to the patient. In addition, removal of insect will be much easier from the clear lidocaine solution as compared to the thick mineral oil. However, lidocaine solution need to be avoided in the case of perforated eardrum (please let your doctor know about it if you have chronic perforated drum). This is because lidocaine passed through perforated eardrum may cause inner ear symptoms. 

KPJ Pasir Gudang Specialist Hospital, Persiaran Dahlia 2, Taman Bukit Dahlia, 81700 Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia.

+607-2573999 Ext: 3906

©2020 by Dr Cheong Jack Pein Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), Head and Neck Surgery.