woman speaking with caption 'hear me when I say cover your ears at night' (l) woman holding pillow over ears (c) woman speaking with caption 'it's not about blocking out the sound' (r)

Damir Khabirov/Shutterstock @itsalexandrasedlak/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Rose

‘Happened to me too’: Woman says you should cover your ears at night after she woke up unable to hear for this strange reason

'I put ear plugs in and I love it.'


Phil West


Posted on Apr 23, 2024   Updated on Apr 24, 2024, 6:16 am CDT

A woman who experienced temporary hearing loss has a horrifying scenario for you to ponder. If it happens to you, there is a chance that it could be thanks to a bug lodged in your ear.

The nightmare fuel comes from TikTok creator Alexandra Sedlak (@itsalexandrasedlak), whose tale has brought more than 5.5 million views to her page since she put it up on Wednesday.

“Just hear me when I say cover your ears at night,” she counsels to start her video. “Just find a way. Get yourself a scarf. Create a cute little scarf situation, whatever you need to do, OK? And this is not about sound. It’s not about blocking out the sound. It’s much worse than that.”

She reports, “I went to bed one night, woke up in the morning, couldn’t hear out of one of my ears. Of course, I panicked because I have health anxiety, and I immediately spiraled. And I’m a highly sensitive person, so any little shift, I feel it, and I feel it big.”

She said she went to an ear, nose, and throat doctor, concerned because she has an uncle who once woke up deaf in one ear, and doctors could never determine the cause.

Sedlak said for her, it was just a piece of earwax causing her displacement, and it was easily removable. Feeling relieved, she said she told the doctor, “‘I’m so glad it wasn’t a bug,’ thinking he would laugh with me.”

He did not laugh. Instead, Sedlak said he relayed a tale of helping a patient a week prior who’d had a cockroach in her ear. “And the scratching sound was the cockroach trying to get out,” Sedlak relayed, adding that the doctor told her, “It happens all the time. And in fact, he told me that bugs often go into our ears at night while we’re sleeping, and we don’t even know it. They like it because it’s warm and moist.”

@itsalexandrasedlak so just cover those sweet lil ears. night! #fyp #foryou #ears #hearing #ent #health #medicalmystery #diagnosis #bug #eardrum #healthanxiety #earwax #gross #storytime #iykyk #horrortok #horrorstory #goodnight ♬ original sound – Alexandra Sedlak

It’s common enough for the Daily Dot to have a related story. Last fall, a woman shared her story of having a live spider in her ear, noting upon its discovery, “I’m never sleeping again” before having a panic attack.

If a bug does find its way into your ear canal, “don’t panic,” WebMD counsels. The site states it’s likely that you can use a very small amount of baby oil or vegetable oil to kill a bug that’s in your ear, and then a bulb syringe with warm water can help you extract the bug’s corpse. It is possible, though, that you need a doctor’s assistance to deal with it. It’s obviously a good idea to deal with the situation as soon as you’re aware of it.

The article grimly assesses, “Dead bugs won’t be as irritating as living bugs, but they might sting or bite you before they die. This can lead to temporary irritation. The bug’s corpse could also muffle your hearing until it’s gone.”

Multiple commenters said that one particular type of bug found its way into ears, appropriately named the earwig. Though an old wives’ tale about the bugs laying eggs in ear canals is one of several etymological sources, it provided the basis for a Western Journal of Medicine article simply titled “Earwig in the Ear.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Apr 23, 2024, 5:30 pm CDT