A woman who complained of incessant clicking and rustling sounds in her ear was found to have a spider crawling inside the ear in a bizarre incident.
The 64-year-old woman (who did not wish to be named) from Taiwan visited an ear, nose, and throat clinic after she struggled to sleep for several nights due to the weird feeling in her ear.
Doctors in the clinic discovered a small spider moving about her ear canal. It had discarded its exoskeleton, which sat nearby.
The arachnid was removed via a suction device. The woman suffered no damage to her ear canal or long term effects.
The bizarre case was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The spider was found in the woman’s ear in April this year, with the rustling noises beginning one morning after the woman woke up.
Dr. Tengchin Wang, the report’s co-author and the director of the otolaryngology department at Tainan Municipal Hospital told NBC News: “She didn’t feel pain because the spider was very small.
“It’s just about 2 to 3 millimetres.
Dr 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.
According to doctors, a safe way to get insects out of the ear is to pour in vegetable or olive oil, which could drown the creature or let it slide out.
Another method is to pour lidocaine or ethanol into the ear to kill the insect, to stop it from moving and damaging the ear.
Previous research suggested that live insects represent at least 14 per cent of foreign objects found in people’s ear canals. The other objects that were identified and found inside the canal include cotton balls, beads and earring backings.