When an insect enters the ear it can cause a lot of discomfort, generating symptoms such as difficulty hearing, intense itching, pain or the feeling that something is moving. In these cases, you should try to avoid the urge to scratch the ear as well as trying to remove what is inside with your finger or a cotton swab.
Therefore, what you must do to remove the insect from your ear is:
- Keep calm and avoid scratching the ear as it can cause the insect to move more and increase discomfort;
- See if there are any insects inside the ear, using a flashlight and a magnifying glass, for example;
- Avoid removing the insect with swabs or other objects as it can push the insect further into the ear;
- Tilt your head to the side of the affected ear and shake gently to try to get the insect out.
However, if the insect does not come out other forms may be used to try to remove it from the ear.
1. Use a a leaf of grass
Grass is a very flexible material, but has small protrusions in which the insects cling. In this way, it can be used inside the ear without the risk of puncturing the eardrum or pushing the insect.
To use the grass leaf, you should wash the leaf with a little soap and water and then try to place it under the legs of the insect and wait a few seconds, then pull it out. If the insect grasps the leaf, it will be pulled out, but if it continues inside the ear one can repeat this process for a few times.
2. Use a few drops of oil
Oil is a great choice when other attempts do not work, as it is a way to kill it quickly, without the risk of being bitten or scratched inside the ear. In addition, as the oil lubricates the ear canal, the insect can slip outward or out more easily when your head is shaken again.
To use this technique you should put 2 to 3 drops of oil, olive oil or Johnson's oil inside the ear and then put the head tilted to the side of the affected ear, waiting a few seconds. Finally, if the insect does not come out alone, you should try to shake the head again or move the ear.
This technique should not be used if there is a rupture of the eardrum or if there is a suspected ear problem. Ideally, the oil should be at room temperature or slightly heated, but not enough to cause burns.
3. Clean with warm water or saline solution
This technique should only be used when you are sure that the insect is already dead, as the use of water can cause the insect to begin to scratch or bite, causing lesions inside the ear if it is still alive.
Ideally in this case you should use a PET bottle with a hole in the lid, for example, to create a water jet so that you create some pressure on the ear and clean what is inside.
When to go to the doctor
It is recommended you go to the emergency room when the symptoms are very strong or get worse over time, as well as if the insect can not be removed through these techniques. The doctor may use special tools to remove the insect without causing any damage to the inside of the ear.
In addition, if an insect can not be seen inside the ear, but there is intense discomfort, an otorhinolaryngologist should be consulted to evaluate the possible causes and initiate appropriate treatment if necessary.