Peer-influenced content. Sources you trust. No registration required. This is HCN.

The New England Journal of MedicineImages in Clinical Medicine: A Spider and Its Exoskeleton in the Ear Canal

A Case of Unusual Foreign Body in External Auditory Canal

In a recent case, a 64-year-old hypertensive woman experienced an unusual auditory disturbance due to the presence of a spider in her ear. The patient, who presented to the otolaryngology clinic, reported abnormal sounds and sensations in her left ear, which were later found to be caused by a small spider.

Key Points

  • The patient reported a 4-day history of abnormal sounds in her left ear.
  • She described the sensation as if a creature was moving inside her ear.
  • A small spider and its molted exoskeleton were found in the external auditory canal of the left ear.
  • The spider and exoskeleton were successfully removed using a suction cannula placed through an otoscope.
  • In cases of larger spiders or insects, instillation of lidocaine or ethanol is recommended before removal.
  • Liquids should not be introduced into the ear if the tympanic membrane has been perforated.
  • The patient’s symptoms immediately abated after removal of the spider and exoskeleton.

According to a study published in The Laryngoscope, foreign bodies in the ear account for 1.6% of all otolaryngologic emergency visits.

More in Otolaryngology

The Healthcare Communications Network is owned and operated by IQVIA Inc.

Click below to leave this site and continue to IQVIA’s Privacy Choices form