Ear & Balance

A live insect in the ear!

February 1, 2020
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Ms A, a 15 year old lady, presented to my clinic looking distressed. She woke up in the morning with a feeling of “something moving” in her right ear. She tried digging her ear with an ear pick but that caused pain and more discomfort. She visited a GP who had a look in her ear and told her the unfortunate news that she has a live insect in her right ear canal. Without the appropriate instruments, her GP only managed to remove a small part of the insect.

When I saw her, a live insect can be seen moving in her right ear canal. There was some excoriation on the front part of her ear canal, possibly from the struggling insect or from her ear digging. The insect was removed in its entirety with an ear forceps under endoscopic guidance.

 

 

A live insect was seen in Ms A’s right ear canal on endoscopy

 

 

 

 

While it may be surprising to many, insects crawling or flying into the ear does happen. It occurs usually while the person is sleeping or when the person is engaged in an outdoor activity (e.g. during camping).

 

The first thing that you should do if you suspect that you have an insect in your ear is to drown the insect with baby oil, mineral oil or olive oil. Having a live insect struggling to get out of your ear canal is painful and highly uncomfortable! Never attempt to dig the insect out with a cotton bud or ear pick as this may push the insect deeper, agitate the insect and cause it to try to burrow its way out of your ear canal or injure your ear canal or eardrum.

 

Once you’ve drowned the insect, you should head to an ENT clinic or a GP with the right instruments and skill to remove the insect safely. There is no sure way of preventing an insect from going into your ears. Most of the time it is just bad luck. However, keeping your home clean and using an insect repellant when outdoors or camping may help!

 

Best wishes,

 

Dr Gan Eng Cern

 

ENT Specialist Singapore

When Should You See An ENT Specialist In Singapore?

  • Any Ear, Nose or Throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned of
  • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

Dr Gan Eng Cern

Dr Gan Eng Cern is a fellowship trained Consultant Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Surgeon. He completed his ENT training in Singapore and obtained his subspecialty training in Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery at the world renowned St Paul’s Sinus Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He was also a Senior Clinical Lecturer at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. Dr Gan was an avid researcher with numerous publications in reputable international ENT journals. He was also an invited speaker and surgical dissection teacher in many ENT conferences and courses.

Awards

  • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist
    (Expat Living Singapore)
  • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
  • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
  • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
  • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College
    of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical
    paper)
  • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health,
    Singapore)
  • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award

Qualifications

  • MBBS - Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
  • MRCS (Edin) - Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • MMed (ORL) - Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
  • FAMS - Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

Why Choose Dr Gan Eng Cern

1

Reliable & Reputable ENT Expert

Experienced and patient ENT Specialist who has your best interests at heart. We aim to provide you with accessible and specialized care for any ENT condition in a comfortable setting.

2

Friendly & Helpful Clinic Staff

Our friendly staff will assist you to the best of our ability and we are happy to accept most insurance providers and assist with E-filing with relevant insurance providers or Medisave.

3

Advanced ENT Equipment & Fully Equipped Facility

Our ENT Specialist, Dr Gan Eng Cern, will be able to diagnose and offer personalised treatments for your specific ENT condition. You can expect a high level of ENT care in a spacious setting with in-house minor surgical, endoscopy, allergy testing and microscopy services.

4

Financial Options

There are various financial options available for you to ensure that you are able to receive the most optimal treatment and care. Our ENT clinic staff will be able to assist you with your medical insurance claims and work with your chosen healthcare organization to minimize the hassle and paperwork required. In some cases, you may be able to utilise the funds in your Medisave account to defray part of the costs of your treatment. As our clinic is accredited by the Medisave board, we are able to process your claims from your Medisave for certain clinic procedures.

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