Small insects can, in fact, get trapped inside the human ear and the insects in question are usually small flies or beetles. Whilst an insect in the ear is a rare occurrence in Australia, the phenomenon of people reporting, “It feels like there’s something moving in my ear” is more common in countries where people tend to sleep on the floor.
The fear of an insect entering the ear is not completely unfounded. In a worst-case scenario, an insect such as a small spider or earwig could go in your ear during sleep; however, this is extremely unlikely. Firstly, Australian sleeping habits don’t favour its occurrence and, secondly, the human ear protects itself against intruders. Indeed, not only does the smell of our ear wax protect us from insects, but the bitter substances it contains also repels them.
The extremely low incidence of insects going into ears is also borne out by the press coverage of those very few cases that do occur, where insects in the ear in the USA or Asia are newsworthy events, even in Europe. For example, the Californian woman who had a tick in her ear was covered in medical journals for ENT specialists worldwide. In India a man had a 7cm cricket in his ear, a man in Australia had a cockroach and a Chinese woman had a jumping spider!
Incidences of a bug in the ear can be caused by:
As previously mentioned, although extremely unlikely, is not impossible that an insect can enter the ear. To tell if a bug is in your ear, some common insect in ear symptoms are:
If it is very quiet, you may not even notice an insect in your ear. If the insect remains in the ear for some time, a symptom can also be an inflammation of the ear canal, which is triggered by the insect’s presence.
Yes, you can remove an insect from your ear at home, trying one of these three, non-invasive, ‘Do It Yourself’ methods. However, please note that if these don’t succeed, you should consult an ENT specialist immediately. To get a bug out of the ear you should:
Do you experience hearing loss while or after having an insect on your ear? Or would you like in general to test your hearing capabilities? Then come to one of +300 Amplifon clinics in Australia to attend a free hearing test.