After 11 fruitless visits to her doctor over three years, Danielle Eccles was beginning to think that her severe earache would never be cured. Over that time, the 28-year-old, an NHS administration manager, was prone to temporarily losing all hearing in her blocked and swollen right ear, and bouts of ‘unbearable’ pain that caused her to take time off work. Then, one day, while putting in yet more eardrops as prescribed by the doctor, a ladybird’s head fell out of her ear.
It was then that she remembered that around the time her symptoms first began with a tickling sensation in August 2009, she was convinced that something had crawled into her ear. Mrs Eccles, who lives with husband Neil, 32, a landscaper, said: ‘A few nights earlier I’d felt sure a bug had crawled in my ear and was so relieved when my GP said he couldn’t see any insect in there.’
This time, however, she was finally referred to hospital, where an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist removed the rest of the perfectly preserved ladybird. Yesterday Mrs Eccles, who is making a formal complaint to the surgery, said: ‘It sounds funny but I thought I was going mad. ‘It’s made my life a nightmare. I just can’t believe no one saw it. After all, it must be the brightest, spottiest bug in the UK.’ By May 2010 she had already gone back to the surgery six times.
‘I kept on getting ear infections and deafness,’ she said. ‘At restaurants I had to position myself at the table so my left ear was turned towards people speaking and walking along a road with someone I had to walk to their right so I could hear them properly. ‘Neil got fed up having to say everything twice to me. ‘Before this I was rarely ill. But I’ve had to have two lots of time off work because the pain was unbearable and the antibiotics I’ve had to take ruined my immune system leaving me prone to lots of colds.’ Last year and earlier this year, she went back to the Elizabeth Courtauld surgery near her home in Halstead, Essex, a further five times.
By that point, doctors had issued Mrs Eccles with a total of 12 prescriptions of earspray, eardrops, antibiotics and painkillers, none of which managed to solve the problem. She said: ‘One doctor did see something but diagnosed it as a “glob of wax”. ‘It was only in June this year when putting some eardrops in, that the head and jaws of a ladybird fell out of my hand that I recalled the night I believed the insect had crawled in. ‘Mrs Eccles took the beetle’s head to show her GP, who finally referred her to an ENT consultant. She said: ‘Waiting six weeks for the appointment was difficult as by then the deafness and discomfort in that ear was getting worse.’ However, within five minutes the consultant had removed the insect’s body. Mrs Eccles said: ‘We could clearly see from its spots it was a ladybird. I was instantly able to hear again and that was such a relief.
‘But I feel angry. I was made to feel I was making a fuss about nothing and feel I should have been referred to a specialist much earlier.’ Dr Azhar Shaida, a consultant ENT surgeon from The Harley St ENT Clinic, said: ‘It would appear the ladybird was hiding behind some wax. ‘A GP surgery does not possess the same level of equipment that an ENT specialist department has, so it appears when doctors looked into the ear, all they saw was wax. ‘Because the insect body was encased in wax, it would have stopped the air getting to it so it wouldn’t have degraded.’
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Source Daily Mail: Read More >