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Featured Image Credit: AsiaWire
This is the moment medics found a live spider crawling through a woman's ear canal after she went to hospital complaining of itching and a 'stinging pain':
The animal is believed to have been living in its warm and moist new 'den' for at least a week until its host, a pensioner, sought medical attention at Mianyang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sichuan province in south-western China.
Ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Liu Jun said the elderly female patient - who has not been named - visited the hospital's outpatient clinic with her daughter on 22 April.
The pensioner, from Yanting County in the city of Mianyang, complained of ringing in her ears and occasional itching, followed by a 'stinging pain'. Anyone else shuddering at the thought?
Doctor Liu spotted a ball of silk in the woman's ear canal and recommended she be given an otoscopy, which revealed that a live spider had been living inside.
Footage of the procedure shows the spider appearing to be startled by the medic's light, emerging from behind its web and scrambling to protect itself from the medical equipment.
Doctor Liu paralysed the spider with a chemical ear drops and removed it with tweezers a minute later.
The patient's ear, which had fortunately not been damaged by the spider, was cleaned with a saline solution, the medic said.
The pensioner said the spider likely crawled into her ear while she was working on a vineyard one week ago. This just gets worse and worse...
Doctor Liu said: "It was fortunate [sic] that the spider was small and didn't rupture her eardrum, otherwise she might have suffered hearing loss.
"It's not common for small insects or animals to be found inside the ear, but this wasn't an isolated case either. I once treated a patient whose ear had been invaded by an insect which later laid eggs.
"Personal hygiene is the key to preventing this. But should an insect enter your ear, do not try to remove it by yourself. Always seek medical attention."
Last year, a web designer who thought he was suffering from vertigo and earache discovered a spider had crawled into his lug hole during the night.
Liam Gomez, 27, who had earlier disturbed a nest full of baby spiders in his doorway, woke with a blocked ear, felt dizzy and unbalanced and could hear a faint scratching in his head.
He applied olive oil to ease it and was horrified to see a spider's leg stuck to the end of the cotton bud. Uh oh.
Liam, who has now vowed to sleep wearing earmuffs, then spent the next hour extracting the spider - in bits.
Self-professed arachnophobe Liam, from Folkestone, Kent, was happy 'just to get the bloody thing out of me' - and is relieved his hearing is back to normal.