Health

Woman Finds Roach In Her Ear: What You Should Do When This Happens

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Pictured here is an American cockroach. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The list of things that you don’t want stuck in your ear is very long. It&nbsp;includes cotton swabs, small toys, food such as beans and nuts, insects, and the song “Who Let the Dogs Out?”&nbsp;In a recent piece for SELF,&nbsp;Katie Holley described how she found a flying cockroach in her ear and what happened next. Gross and disconcerting? Yes. Very rare? Not really.

The headline of Holley’s article, “I Went to the ER with a Live Roach in My Ear and It Was as Horrifying as You Think,” certainly is quite descriptive. Here’s her Tweet about it:

As Holley, who lives in Florida and is the SELF-described sister-in-law of an editor at SELF, explained, her experience began with the following:

Last month, in the middle of the night, I woke up startled. It felt like someone had placed a chip of ice in my left earhole—but it was something way worse. I shot up out of bed, disoriented, and stumbled to the bathroom. I could feel that my ear was not right. I grabbed a cotton swab and gently inserted it into my ear to see what was up and I felt something move. When I pulled the cotton swab out, there were two dark brown, skinny pieces stuck to the tip. Moments later, I came to the realization that they were legs. LEGS. Legs that could only belong to an adventurous palmetto bug exploring my ear canal.

As you can imagine, finding legs in your ear can be quite disconcerting. According to Orkin, the pest control company,&nbsp;a Palmetto bug is&nbsp;otherwise known as the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). The adult bugs are rather large, colored dark-brown, have wings, and look like they are wearing sunglasses because of&nbsp;dark markings around their eyes. So basically, Holley had a live Reservoir&nbsp;Dogs flying&nbsp;cockroach&nbsp;in her ear.

Think about how uncomfortable it is when a person puts his or her mouth right against your ear and constantly makes “buzzzzz, buzzzzzz” sounds. (Don’t tell me that’s never happened to you before.) Imagine then how loud and painful a roach moving right next to your eardrum can be.

Her husband first tried to pull the roach out of her ear but only managed to pull out two more spiky legs. They then went to the emergency room, where&nbsp;the medical personnel inserted lidocaine into her ear, which killed the roach and numbed her ear, and then managed to extract more roach parts. The trouble is, over the ensuing 8 days, she continued to suffer soreness and decreased hearing, because roach body parts still remained in her ear. Her family physician then removed 6 more roach body parts. But that wasn’t enough. Her family physician then referred her to an ear, nose, and throat doctor who finally extracted “THE ENTIRE HEAD, UPPER TORSO, MORE LIMBS, AND ANTENNAE.” Holley wrote these words in ALL CAPS, although I can’t remember when this particular combination of words were not written in ALL CAPS.

Now what I am about to say may make you want to tape your ears shut or wear tight underwear around your head while you sleep (please don’t do either of these). Anyone who has worked in the emergency room or urgent care long enough will probably have seen at least one case of an insect crawling into someone’s ear, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not keep official “bug in ear” statistics. Bugs are common, and your ear hole may look like the front door to a hotel. A dark, warm, waxy, and moist hotel. The kind that would get very bad ratings on Trip Advisor but can be quite inviting for insects such as roaches.

There’s not much you can do to make your ear less inviting for bugs. In the adapted words of Ringo Starr, “lend me your ear, and I’ll sing you a song and a bug could always walk into your ear.” Naturally, if your pillow is swarming with insects, that increases the chances that one will enter your ear. Sleeping outside on the ground will also increase your chances. So insect control and maintaining relatively hygienic surroundings&nbsp;are probably the best things that you can do to prevent this occurrence.

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Pictured here is an American cockroach. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The list of things that you don’t want stuck in your ear is very long. It includes cotton swabs, small toys, food such as beans and nuts, insects, and the song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” In a recent piece for SELF, Katie Holley described how she found a flying cockroach in her ear and what happened next. Gross and disconcerting? Yes. Very rare? Not really.

The headline of Holley’s article, “I Went to the ER with a Live Roach in My Ear and It Was as Horrifying as You Think,” certainly is quite descriptive. Here’s her Tweet about it:

As Holley, who lives in Florida and is the SELF-described sister-in-law of an editor at SELF, explained, her experience began with the following:

Last month, in the middle of the night, I woke up startled. It felt like someone had placed a chip of ice in my left earhole—but it was something way worse. I shot up out of bed, disoriented, and stumbled to the bathroom. I could feel that my ear was not right. I grabbed a cotton swab and gently inserted it into my ear to see what was up and I felt something move. When I pulled the cotton swab out, there were two dark brown, skinny pieces stuck to the tip. Moments later, I came to the realization that they were legs. LEGS. Legs that could only belong to an adventurous palmetto bug exploring my ear canal.

As you can imagine, finding legs in your ear can be quite disconcerting. According to Orkin, the pest control company, a Palmetto bug is otherwise known as the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). The adult bugs are rather large, colored dark-brown, have wings, and look like they are wearing sunglasses because of dark markings around their eyes. So basically, Holley had a live Reservoir Dogs flying cockroach in her ear.

Think about how uncomfortable it is when a person puts his or her mouth right against your ear and constantly makes “buzzzzz, buzzzzzz” sounds. (Don’t tell me that’s never happened to you before.) Imagine then how loud and painful a roach moving right next to your eardrum can be.

Her husband first tried to pull the roach out of her ear but only managed to pull out two more spiky legs. They then went to the emergency room, where the medical personnel inserted lidocaine into her ear, which killed the roach and numbed her ear, and then managed to extract more roach parts. The trouble is, over the ensuing 8 days, she continued to suffer soreness and decreased hearing, because roach body parts still remained in her ear. Her family physician then removed 6 more roach body parts. But that wasn’t enough. Her family physician then referred her to an ear, nose, and throat doctor who finally extracted “THE ENTIRE HEAD, UPPER TORSO, MORE LIMBS, AND ANTENNAE.” Holley wrote these words in ALL CAPS, although I can’t remember when this particular combination of words were not written in ALL CAPS.

Now what I am about to say may make you want to tape your ears shut or wear tight underwear around your head while you sleep (please don’t do either of these). Anyone who has worked in the emergency room or urgent care long enough will probably have seen at least one case of an insect crawling into someone’s ear, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not keep official “bug in ear” statistics. Bugs are common, and your ear hole may look like the front door to a hotel. A dark, warm, waxy, and moist hotel. The kind that would get very bad ratings on Trip Advisor but can be quite inviting for insects such as roaches.

There’s not much you can do to make your ear less inviting for bugs. In the adapted words of Ringo Starr, “lend me your ear, and I’ll sing you a song and a bug could always walk into your ear.” Naturally, if your pillow is swarming with insects, that increases the chances that one will enter your ear. Sleeping outside on the ground will also increase your chances. So insect control and maintaining relatively hygienic surroundings are probably the best things that you can do to prevent this occurrence.

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