This man’s medical emergency will have have you reaching for a Q-tip.
Doctors in China were shocked to discover that a man’s earache was caused by around a dozen cockroaches that had hatched in his hearing canal.
The 24-year-old man — identified only as Mr. Lv — was admitted in October to Sanhe Hospital in the Guangdong Province, where he complained of a “sharp pain” in his right ear, reports New York Post.
“He said his ear hurt a lot, like something was scratching or crawling inside,” Dr. Zhong Yijin, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the clinic, told AsiaWire. “It caused a lot of discomfort.”
Lv also told the docs his family had previously shone a light in his ear to reveal what looked like a large bug inside. The doctor soon confirmed the man’s suspicions after discovering a freshly born brood of German cockroaches — and their mother — in his auditory canal.
“I discovered more than 10 cockroach babies inside,” Dr. Yijiin said. “They were already running around.”
Sanhe Hospital’s deputy head of ENT, Dr. Jiang Tengxiang, told local media outlets Lv had a habit of leaving snacks near his bed while he slept, which likely prompted the insect interlopers to use his ear as an impromptu incubation chamber.
Doctors were able to extract both the babies and their mama — one by one — from Lv’s ear using tweezers.
This guy got off easy. Experts say the German (blattella germanica) cockroach’s egg case typically contains 30 to 40 eggs.
Lv only sustained minor injuries to his ear, and was discharged the same day with a prescription for antibiotic ointment, according to a statement released by the hospital.
Dr. Tengxiang also provided helpful — i.e. obvious — tips for preventing cockroaches from living rent-free in your head.
“Practice good hygiene, disinfect drains and sewers and use mosquito nets and screens on windows,” he said. “That’ll stop insects from flying or crawling into your noses and ears.”