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Fluttering sound in ear

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My dog woke me up. I had a fluttering sound in my ear as if a flying insect was in my ear. Then it stopped. What causes this? Is it possible there was an insect in there aned it died? Any help appreciated.


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replied May 14th, 2010
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Answer A12095
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned if there is an insect inside your ear canal.
Insects can fly or crawl into the canal. Usually this happens while sleeping (as in your case) on the floor or camping. This is often a frightening and dramatic event as the insect's buzzing and movement is very loud and sometimes painful. Insects should be removed quickly as they cause distressing symptoms and can sting or bite causing further damage. Insects in the ear can be very irritating and cause the patient great discomfort. In your case if the distress and irritation has stopped, most likely the insect has moved out but it cannot be ascertained till your ear canal is seen with otoscope. A few drops of mineral oil may be placed in the ear canal prior to going to the doctor to kill the insect and stop the buzzing or scraping sensation on the eardrum if you have it. Insects in the ear canal are often killed with either lidocaine (an anesthetic) or mineral oil. They are then flushed out with gentle warm water irrigation.
After the insect is removed the doctor may put you on antibiotic drops for five days to a week to prevent infection from trauma to the ear canal.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.



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