Think Earwax is Gross?
While earwax is entirely normal, it still has a stigma that stops it from being a dinner-time conversation. It more frequently comes up in schoolyard conversations between eight year old boys, or (as patients have told us), a group of adults on the golf course rushing the game so they can make their ear appointments on time.
At the Ear Hygiene Clinic, earwax is no strange sight or topic of discussion. It’s in everyone’s ears, and it serves useful purposes of moisturising the ear canal, trapping dust, and preventing infections.
However, even we get surprised occasionally!
More than just earwax
Our ear nurses are not only trained to remove excessive earwax/dry skin from the ear canal, but also foreign bodies. They have helped patients from children who have learnt the hard way why Mum said “don’t put that Play-Doh in your ear”, to patients with hearing aid pieces coming off and getting stuck. Cotton bud tips are also very common. But every now and then, we see patients who are unfortunate enough to have the discomfort of a live insect in their ear.
Spider in the ear
We have seen patients with fluttering moths in their ears, or a mosquito bite in the ear canal – but recently our Registered Nurse Sharron removed an arachnophobe’s eight-legged best friend from an ear!
While this may be a nightmare-come-true to those of us who don’t like spiders, our patient believed it was a moth in his ear and reacted calmly and immediately. He looked up what to do online, which was drowning the spider by pouring water into his ear in the shower, before calling the Ear Hygiene Clinic to remove it.
When Sharron looked into this patient’s ear expecting to see the moth he described, she instead saw a large body of a spider blocking the entire canal. Using microscope and suction technology, she gently removed the spider and any debris from it until the ear canal was clear again - and her patient was very relieved!
What to do if a bug is trapped in your ear:
- DON’T PANIC.
- As soon as possible, drown whatever is in your ear. This can be achieved with either water or cooking oil – whatever you have on hand.
- Lie on your side, and use a dropper or a teaspoon to instill the liquid. Ensure you instill enough liquid to drown the insect.
- Do not try to remove the insect at home as this will push it further into the canal.
- Call the Ear Hygiene Clinic on 03 384 4668. Our Registered Nurses will use microsuction to safely and efficiently remove the insect.