A 48-year old woman in Taiwan who went to doctors complaining of ear ache was found to have a maggot living in her ear.
The woman visited the emergency department of Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei complaining of ear ache and when the doctors removed her hearing aid and examined her left ear, they found a fruit fly larva wriggling along the ear canal and had eroded the skin at the base of her ear canal, close to the eardrum, filling her ear with blood-stained discharge.
The doctors believe that the larva was in her ear for at least a day but as her left ear was less sensitive than usual as she had worn a hearing aid for many years, the woman was unable to detect its presence sooner. The doctors were able to remove the larva without any problems before giving her antibiotics and the woman's ear ache subsided very quickly while the erosion healed in a couple of weeks.
"Most cases of animals in the ear canal are the flying objects and cockroaches. The fruit fly larva in ear canal is relatively unusual", Dr Cheng-Ping said. A report of the case has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.