Tick On Eardrum Confirmed After Boy Hears Buzzing In Ear

A 9-year-old Connecticut boy was hearing a constant buzzing sound in his ear. The result was an American Dog Tick attached to his eardrum.


Credit – The New England Journal of Medicine ©2019


Although the young boy had no pain in his ear, nor any current hearing complications, he continued to be bothered by this constant buzzing from his right ear. The concerned parents of the boy decided to move promptly to a local physician.

The boy’s physician, Dr. David Kasle of the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, consulted the parents and informed them that there was, in fact, a tick attached deep in the boys ear. From microscopic results, the tick seemed to be attached to the boy’s eardrum membrane. This is the most sensitive part of the human ear. At the time, doctors could not confirm what species of tick it was. That is an important factor considering disease risks.


Risks Of Removing, Not Removing A Tick

Considering the tick was strongly attached to the boy’s eardrum, removing the tick from the boy’s ear was a large risk. Also, it was a risk to not remove the tick. Not removing the tick could result in hearing complications or even a loss of hearing over time if not performed correctly. Another risk factor could be the possibility of a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever infection or lyme disease risk.

After much thought by the boy’s parents and physician, the decision was made to follow through with surgery to remove the unwanted visitor from the boy’s right eardrum membrane. The surgeon put the boy under and used fine utensils to attempt to remove the tick.


The American Dog Tick

The boy’s physician at the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital confirmed the species of tick stuck inside of the boy’s ear. It was tested and confirmed as an American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis).

As a result, the young boy was luckily not harmed in any way from this very rare occurrence. The boy was treated with a medical ear-drop antibiotic to treat any potential harm to the eardrum from the tick bite. Also, no disease or illness from the tick was discovered after the boy was treated.


Dog Ticks, Wood Ticks In Tennessee

This specific tick species is common throughout the United States. The dog tick is commonly found in heavily wooded areas. Tennessee is a state in the southern region of the country that particularly gets a lot of reports of the dog tick. The American dog tick is also known as just the ‘dog tick’ or ‘wood tick’. It is typically found east of the Rocky Mountains. Hence, the name of the common disease the dog tick carries: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF).


Ticks of Tennessee; Characteristics & Similarities

Interestingly enough, bloodsucking ticks are an insect species related to the spider. In contrast, these creatures also have 8 legs. Similarly, these bugs also carry characteristics of a mosquito. Due to their ability to suck blood from its hosts, the tick is a threatening disease carrier. Furthermore, these types of ticks are commonly found carrying the diseases, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme Disease.


Tick Solutions And Services In Tennessee

As a result, while the American dog tick can be managed without pesticides, when necessary a pest professional or knowledgeable pest company is recommended. Furthermore, hiring a trained pest professional is an effective way of eliminating any potential risks of these disease-carrying insects. To avoid a tick infestation near your residence, call a pest pro today.


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