A 64-year-old woman in Taiwan struggled to sleep, kept awake by unrelenting clicking sounds accompanied by a sensation of movement in her left ear. So after four days and nights of her unusual symptoms, she went to an ear, nose, and throat clinic, where doctors found the culprit: a tiny spider hanging out — and molting! — inside her ear canal.
"She didn't feel pain because the spider was very small," said Dr. Tengchin Wang, who co-authored a report about the creepy discovery in the New England Journal of Medicine, and even posted video of the insect while it was inside the ear (see below).
He described the spider, which had shed its exoskeleton inside her ear, as 2 to 3 millimeters, or 1/10 of an inch. The doctor was able to suction out the tiny invader, along with its molted leftovers, with a tube.
From NBC News:
Wang said he wrote the report because of the case's novelty: He had seen ants, moths, cockroaches and mosquitoes inside people's ears before, but never an insect that molted inside an ear canal.
He urged the public to see a doctor if they ever experience such symptoms. …
Discovering an insect inside a person's ear is rare but not unheard of, doctors in the U.S. say.
Most ear, nose and throat specialists see "tens, if not more, of bugs or some sort of arthropod" in ear canals throughout their career, according to Dr. David Kasle, a physician at ENT Sinus and Allergy of South Florida, who wasn't involved in the new research.
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