- The 48-year-old went to hospital after having earache for 24 hours
- Doctors removed her hearing aid and found her ear was full of discharge
- They examined her ear and found the fruit fly larva moving around inside it
- It was removed and she was given antibiotics but has now fully recovered
06:19 EST, 13 February 2014
07:49 EST, 13 February 2014
A Taiwanese woman with earache was found to have a maggot living in her ear.
The 48-year-old went to hospital after suffering from severe earache for 24 hours.
Doctors at the Tri-Service General Hospital, in Taipei, removed the hearing aid she was wearing in her left ear and noticed the ear was full of blood-stained discharge.
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A 48-year-old Taiwanese woman was found to have a maggot (centre) living in her ear after she developed a severe earache. Doctors removed it and gave the woman antibiotics
When doctors examined her ear, they found the fruit fly larva moving around in the ear canal.
They believe it had been there for at least a day.
Dr Cheng-Ping Shih told NBC News that the woman’s ear was less sensitive than usual because of many years of wearing a hearing aid.
He said the hearing aid also made the ear warmer than normal meaning it was an appealing home for the larva.
A report of the case in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed the creature had eroded the skin at the base of the ear canal, close to the eardrum.
The woman is believed to have picked up the larva at home as fruit flies commonly circulate around unrefrigerated food in warm countries
Doctors managed to remove the maggot without difficulty and the woman was given antibiotics.
However, they did not remove it until they had filmed it wriggling around inside her ear.
Her earache improved immediately after the larva was removed.
Two weeks after her treatment, the erosion in the woman’s ear canal had also completely healed.
Doctors think that she picked up the larva in her home as it is common for fruit flies to gather around unrefrigerated produce in hot climates.
‘Most cases of animals in the ear canal are the flying objects and cockroaches,’ Dr Cheng-Ping told NBC. ‘The fruit fly larva in ear canal is relatively unusual.’
The Taiwanese woman is not the first to find creatures living in her ear.
British woman, Rochelle Harris, developed severe headaches after returning from a holiday in Peru.
She was horrified when doctors discovered that she had eight large maggots living in her ear.
Ms Harris later discovered that a New World Army Screw Worm Fly had laid eggs insider her ear.
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