Taipei, May 20 (CNA) It is not unusual for mothers stop theirchildren from eating in bed, but now doctors are also telling theirpatients the same thing -- if they don't want ants crawling intotheir ears.
Although it is common to find small bugs in the ear canals, alocal doctor said Friday that he recently found as many as 25 deadants in the ears of a 16-year-old girl.
Before seeking medical help, the girl, who has a sweet tooth, hadbeen suffering from ear pain for several months, said HungYaun-tsung, chief of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at TaipeiCity Hospital.
Hung suspected that her habit of eating cookies and cakes in bedlured the ants into her ears, causing unbearable itching.
"She confided that she would pick her ears while eating snacksand later go to sleep without brushing away the crumbs, " the doctorsaid. "The ants might have found their way into her ears followingthe cookie crumbs and stayed there because there was enough foodthere to keep them alive."
The ants he found, however, were dead upon examination, possiblybecause the girl had dropped some oil into her ears to ease herdiscomfort, Hung said. Her inflamed eardrums improved aftermedication and no ants were found in follow-up sessions.
Ear pain resulting from insect intrusion is common, said Hung,who receives patients with small cockroaches, mosquitoes and ants intheir ears on a daily basis. "But it's the first time that I've foundso many ants in both ears," he added.
He noted that sufferers can put a few drops of cooking oil intotheir ears to kill the bugs if immediate medical attention cannot beobtained. "But remember not to scratch your ears, because it couldpush the bugs further into the ear canal," he warned.
(By Nancy Liu)