This Person Thought They Had an Earwax Blockage. The Reality Was So Much Grosser

Robin Zlotnick - Author

May 20 2020, Updated 2:48 p.m. ET

featured ear wax
Source: iStock Photo / Reddit

Reddit's "TIFU" subreddit is full of lots of gasp-worthy stories, but this one really got to me. It's about a person who thought they had an earwax blockage, but in reality, it was something much worse.

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About a week ago, OP woke up in the middle of the night and noticed that something was wrong with their left ear. Every few seconds, they'd hear a crackling sound. That's happened to me before, usually when I have a sinus infection or allergies. I always assume it's a build-up of gross stuff. 

ear wax
Source: iStock Photo
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They thought it was probably an earwax blockage, which they'd had before (even though they never experienced that crackling). So they took a cotton pad, poured some olive oil on it, stuffed it in their ear to soften the ear wax, and went back to bed. 

"After putting the cotton pad in my ear," they write, "the crackling sound stopped, but it was replaced with some soft ticking sounds. It made it hard to fall asleep, but eventually, I managed to drift off."

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The next morning, the sounds had stopped, but they could tell there was still wax in there because they could hear it move when they put pressure on their ears. For the next few days, they tried everything to remove it, from squirting water into their ear to shoving more cotton pads up there to trying to get it out with tweezers, which they admit they know was a bad idea.

"All these methods failed to get the ear wax out," they write, "until today." Are you ready for this? I don't know if you're ready for this. 

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ear wax
Source: iStock Photo

They started in with the tweezers again and finally grabbed ahold of what they thought was ear wax. So they took it out and looked. "To my horror," they write, "the blockage in my left ear was not caused by ear wax, but it was caused by what looked like a kind of tiny moth. 

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"This creature had somehow managed to climb into my ear at 2 a.m., caused me to wake up, and couldn't leave my ear because of the cotton pad I had stuffed inside. I am still trying to process that I had a dead moth in my ear for half a week."

Oh no. I already had so many things to worry about. I didn't need to also be scared about bugs crawling to my ears in the middle of the night. But here we are. 

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Source: Imgur

The actual moth that was in OP's ear

Terribly, many people in the comments had similar stories. One person was playing paintball in the woods and saw a little green bug on a leaf. They poked the leaf and the bug flew up their nose! They could feel it wiggling around in their head! Ahhhh!

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They wrote, " Eventually it died I guess and I sorta forgot about it or figured I’d blown it out at some point. A few weeks later I felt a huge sneeze building up and I blasted out a ton of snot with a bug corpse in it." Amazing, yes, but also extremely gross.

Another person had a moth fly into their ear when they were awake and could feel it crawling deeper and deeper in while their wife frantically tried to pull it out with tweezers. So that's horrifying! It eventually left on its own, but still. That's a big "NO THANKS!" from me.

If you're into these kinds of stories, there are plenty more in the thread, involving cockroaches and maggots and spitballs (yes, spitballs). Happy reading. 

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