A man who complained of a constant scratching noise in his sleep has had a live cockroach removed from his ear canal.
Xiangzhou People’s Hospital in Zhuhai, in South China’s Guangdong Province, said that the case was not an isolated one, and it treated three patients in seven hours after each of their ears had been “invaded” by cockroaches.
Ear, nose and throat specialist Yi Changlong said his first patient, Mr He, arrived on the morning of 24th June, saying he felt itching and pain in his ear, accompanied by a constant scratching noise.
Mr He said: “An insert crawled into my ear while I was sleeping. The pain and itching kept me up all night.”
Doctor Yi said an inspection of Mr He’s ear revealed a small cockroach which was attempting to burrow into his ear. The insect had injured his eardrum and drawn blood in the process.
The bug, which chose Mr He’s warm and moist ear in the night, was paralysed with anaesthetic ear drops and removed with a pair of tweezers.
Doctor Yi said: “Had the cockroach not been removed in time, it could have seriously injured his ear drum.”
The medic said he then treated two others with identical symptoms on the same day.
They included Ms Chen, who arrived with intense itching in her ear.
She also noticed the bug crawling into her ear, telling the medic: “I went after it with an ear pick. I couldn’t see what it was, but it went further and further into my ear.”
Hospital images show the cockroaches retrieved from the patients’ ear canals.
The medic has advised against trying to remove insects with cotton buds or ear picks, which can further agitate the bugs or kill them inside.
Doctor Yi said: “Sometimes if you shine a torch into the ear, the insects follow the light out. When that doesn’t work, vegetable oil can be used to drown the insects.
“If uncertain, seek medical attention.”
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.