Live tick found attached to US child’s eardrum

May 8, 2019

A 9-year-old American boy presented with an inflamed eardrum and persistent buzzing noises at Yale-New Haven Hospital, US, after playtime at school. It was later found out to be a tick in his ear, with its feeding apparatus burrowed into the membrane. The eardrum – a stretched out membrane – detects vibrations which is deciphered as sound.

Dr. David Kasle and Dr. Erik Waldman disengaged and removed the tiny visitor at the hospital, using a microscope and aminiature hook, and said the “crucial hearing structure” under the inflamed membrane was unharmed. The boy is reported to be well – both his eardrum and hearing are in good condition.

Such mishaps are not rare. Dr. David Hiltzik, an Otolaryngologist at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City, has had to remove insects, crayons, batteries, and even diamonds from the ear canal.

Dr. Darius Kohan, Director of Otology at Lenox Hill Hospital, also New York City, has concurred that numerous bugs are easily and frequently attached to the ear canal or eardrum. Most reported in children, it is believed the wax in the ear attracts the bugs, which are then stuck into the wax or penetrate the eardrum. Fortunately, removal is simple for adults, usually requiring irrigation and microscopic guidance, while children are sedated to ease discomfort.


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