How to Remove Insects From the Ear Canal

By DrJewell

There may be a situation in which you find yourself or someone else with an earache or ear problem as a result of an insect crawling or flying into the ear canal. It rarely happens-but if it does-this article will offer some tips to help you remove this irritating, painful, "creepy" problem.

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How to Remove Insects From the Ear Canal. There may be a situation in which you find yourself or someone else with an earache or ear problem as a result of an insect crawling or flying into the ear canal. It rarely happens-but if it does-this article will offer some tips to help you remove this irritating, painful, "creepy" problem.

Take a mini flashlight and shine it into the affected ear. The light ray may attract some insects to move toward it. However, there are certain species of bugs that will do the opposite and move away from the light source. If you feel the pain getting worse, immediately shut off the flashlight.

Another method to remove the bug is to position your head so that the affected ear is facing upwards. The natural light at the ear opening might attract the insect to toward it and to crawl out of the ear canal.

Use a tablespoon of baby oil or mineral oil at room temperature, and slowly pour into the affected ear canal to drown the bug. Turn the head where the affected ear is in a down position to allow the oil, and hopefully the bug, to drain out of the canal together.

Cleanse the ear canal out with warm water after you have extracted the bug from the ear. If there is any sign of bleeding or blood as you clean the affected ear canal, squeeze some antiseptic ointment onto a cotton swab and carefully wipe the affected area to reduce any risk of an ear infection. It is advisable to see your doctor for a thorough ear inspection to ensure that the canal has no lesions or irritations, in order to decrease the risks of infection.

Tip

The most common situations in which an insect can enter the ear are: sleeping outdoors in the grass or when camping at night and swimming in the ocean or in an unclean pool. Wear ear plugs when swimming or ear muffs when camping outdoors.

Warning

Do not attempt to use a pair of tweezers or ear swab to extract the insect, as this might cause the insect to crawl deeper into the ear resulting in further pain and complications. This article is not a substitute for seeking medical attention from your own medical doctor or healthcare professional.

About the Author

Dr Susan Jewell is a trained doctor and scientist in clinical research medicine, as well as a stem cell scientist in oncology and AIDS/HIV at the National Cancer Institute and UCLA School of Medicine, UCLA Dental Research Institute, and the Yip Head and Neck Cancer Institute. Dr. Jewell received several prestigious awards and fellowships from NIH and UCLA, notably the Cancer Research Training Award and the National Research Scientist Award as well as several scholarships from NIH Graduate School

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