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First Aid 2023

How to get a bug out of your ear (3 simple tricks)

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How to get a bug out of your ear (3 simple tricks)
How to get a bug out of your ear (3 simple tricks)

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, avoid the urge to scratch your ear, as well as avoid removing what is inside it with your finger or a cotton swab, as this can make the insect more agitated, worsening symptoms.

What to do to remove the insect from the ear is:

  1. Confirm whether there is an insect inside the ear, using a flashlight and a magnifying glass, for example;
  2. Avoid removing the insect with cotton swabs or other objects, as it may push the insect further into the ear;
  3. Incline your head to the side of the affected ear and shake your head, to try to get the insect out.

However, if the insect does not come out, other ways can be used to try to remove it from the ear:

1. Using a blade of grass


Grass is a very flexible material, but it has small bumps that insects cling to. That way, it can be used inside the ear without the risk of puncturing the eardrum or pushing the insect.

To use the blade of grass, wash the blade with a little soap and water and then try to place it under the insect's legs and wait a few seconds, then pull it out. If the insect grabs the leaf, it will be pulled out, but if it remains inside the ear, this process can be repeated a few times.

2. Use a few drops of oil


Oil is a great option for when other attempts have not worked, as it is a way to kill it quickly, without the risk of being bitten or scratched inside the ear. Also, since the oil lubricates the ear canal, the insect may slip out or come out more easily when you shake your head again.

To use this technique, place 2 to 3 drops of oil, olive oil or johnson oil inside the ear and then place the head inclined towards the side of the affected ear, waiting for a few seconds. Finally, if the insect does not come out on its own, try shaking its head again or moving its ear.

This technique should not be used if there is a rupture of the eardrum or if there is a suspicion of an ear problem. Ideally, the oil should be at room temperature or slightly warm, but not hot enough to cause burns.

3. Clean with warm water or serum


This technique should only be used when it is certain that the insect is already dead, as the use of water can cause the insect to start trying to scratch or bite, causing damage to the inside of the ear, if still is alive.

The ideal in this case is to use a PET bottle with a hole in the lid, for example, to create a jet of water that is able to enter the ear with some pressure and clean what is inside.

When to go to the doctor

It is advisable to go to the emergency room when symptoms are very strong or worsen over time, as well as if the insect cannot be removed using these techniques. The doctor may use special instruments to remove the insect without causing any damage to the inside of the ear.

In addition, if it is not possible to observe an insect inside the ear, but there is intense discomfort, an ENT specialist should be consulted to assess the possible causes and initiate appropriate treatment, if necessary.

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