Boy, 9, hears buzzing in his ear for days – doctor then removes a tick embedded in his eardrum

It’s that time of year again when we can dust off the winter cobwebs and enjoy the great outdoors.

With it comes beautiful colors and wildlife emerging from hibernation, it’s such a pretty sight. But one thing that isn’t so pretty are ticks.

Those tiny arachnids that like to attach themselves to our skin are not only a nuisance but can be potentially dangerous due the diseases they can carry.

We are often warned to be aware when we’re in wooded areas or orchards, but one boy got an unexpected surprise after playing outdoors at school.

And where the tick was discovered makes for a worrying read.


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NBC News

The 9-year-old boy from Connecticut had complained to his mom of a buzzing noise in his ear.

After three days of hearing the noise and experiencing a strange sensation, he was taken to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

He had no pain and could hear perfectly well, his complaint was a mystery initially.

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When asked what he’d been doing lately the boy just said he’d been playing outside, nothing unusual.

Dr. Erik Waldman, co-author of a report in the New England Journal of Medicine and chief of pediatric otolaryngology at the hospital, looked inside the boy’s ear and saw something shocking.

A tick had implanted itself in his right eardrum and was surrounded by inflamed tissue.

Foreign body

Dr. David Kasle, co-author of the report, said that “in any kid, removal of a foreign body from an ear is difficult — but especially in this case.”

The tick’s mouth parts had dug into the boy’s ear making its removal difficult.

In a very delicate operation the boy was put to sleep and fine utensils were used to remove the tick from the boy’s ear.

No fever or rash

The tick was identified as a dog tick, commonly found in parts of the United States.

Dr Kasle treated the boy with an antibiotic eardrop and one month later, the child was doing well suffering neither fever nor rash.

It was unusual, but a tick had embedded in a boy's right eardrum.

This is such an unusual case but could happen to anyone. Please share to warn others about ticks and make sure all precautions are taken to help keep them away from us.