Man's 3-Day Ear Clog Has a Most Unpleasant Source

New Zealand's Zane Wedding had a cockroach in his ear
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2022 12:39 PM CST
Updated Jan 16, 2022 3:42 PM CST
He Thought He Had Water In His Ear. It Was a Roach
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Zania Studio)

(Newser) – A New Zealand man who thought his ear was clogged with water for three days found out the actual, more unpleasant truth after visiting a specialist on Monday: A cockroach had burrowed its way into his ear canal. CNN reports that Zane Wedding had started feeling like his ear was blocked after going swimming at a local Auckland pool on Friday. The 40-year-old Greenpeace worker tried using eardrops, then went to a doctor the next day when the issue hadn't cleared up—the water even seemed to be sloshing around in his ear when he was sitting perfectly still.

Per Insider, the doctor Wedding saw simply shrugged it off as a water blockage, though he did note he saw some "dead skin cells" on his eardrum. The doctor syringed Wedding's ear, prescribed some antibiotics, and told him to use a hair dryer at home to dry the ear out. None of Wedding's efforts—which also included chewing gum and using ear candles—seemed to work, however. "I spent most of the weekend [lying] on my side or jamming a hair dryer in my ear," he tells CNN. "When I had to walk around I would instantly be dizzy." When he reclined on his bed, he could still feel the water moving around in his ear.

And so Wedding headed to an ear, nose, and throat specialist on Monday, and when the doctor there looked in his ear, there was a new reaction. "She kept saying, 'Oh my God,'" Wedding recalls, per the New Zealand Herald. "When she first said it I thought I had a tumor." No tumor, just a cockroach, which the first doctor had misidentified as dead skin cells. It took about five minutes for this doctor to get the cockroach out in pieces using a tweezer and suction device. "I felt a pop as soon as the doctor pulled it away," Wedding tells CNN. "It was instant relief."

As for that water Wedding had felt moving around in his ear all weekend? That would have been the wriggling roach, a thought that now makes him feel sick (especially as he'd been basically "cooking" it inside his ear canal with the hair dryer). He believes the roach may have found its way into his ear as he slept on his sofa. Now Wedding says he's advocating for others—especially for those in the Maori community, of which he's a part—to listen to their bodies and seek a second opinion if something seems off. And he's trying to eliminate the memory of his ear interloper. "It still gives me the creeps," he tells the Herald. "We've got the fumigator coming in on Friday." (Read more cockroach stories.)

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