It's a mite noisy for Cambridge man

MitePaul Balvert's "noisy nightmare" went undiagnosed for two years, the New Zealand Herald reported today.

The infestation has stunned ear therapists and a clinical microbiologist who are unaware of any other documented cases of mites thriving and reproducing in a human ear.

Entomologists believe the eight-legged inhabitants were flour or grain mites known as Acarus siro.

Mr Balvert is jubilant and "forever grateful" a Hamilton ear nurse made the creepy discovery and eradicated the mites – ending what he had considered an inescapable nightmare.

Last year he visited Tolbecs Ear Centre in Hamilton.

"A nurse there took one look and called in her boss and others. Then the microbiologist got called in. They were all quite excited," Mr Balvert said.

Centre director Theresa O'Leary said she was amazed to see an infestation of "very active, tiny, bulbous, semi-transparent mites moving around in a moist layer and white eggs present all over the canal and eardrum.

"There were about a 100 of them. It was a well-stocked breeding ground."

Suction removed visible mites and eggs but hidden eggs soon hatched and the problem began again.

More suction followed and Waikato Hospital clinical microbiologist Dr Chris Mansell was asked to help identify the mites and help find an anti-mite agent. They settled on a liquid used for scabies and headlice.

Soaking the ear with the liquid and more suctioning worked.

Last week Mr Balvert returned for a final checkup after celebrating undisturbed sleep.

Source: Stuff
Image: Flickr/janet.powell
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