A New Zealand man is now sleeping peacefully after years of living with an infestation of mites in his ear finally came to an end.
Paul Balvert's "noisy nightmare" went undiagnosed for two years before it was discovered by a nurse at a specialist clinic.
"For years I had no idea what was wrong," a relieved Mr Balvert told the New Zealand Herald.
"I had been hearing continual bubble and squeak noises in my ears and it was worse at night. Sometimes I would get up in the morning and think I would be lucky if I had got any sleep.
"And there was movement. That was the worst - the itch. Many times during the day and night I would stick my fingers and cotton buds in my ears to try and relieve the itch. It was unreachable."
His doctor twice flushed his ears with water, but he got no relief.
Mr Balvert eventually went to see a specialist.
Nurse Theresa O'Leary said she was amazed to see "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 hundred of them. It was a well-stocked breeding ground," she said.
Doctors used suction to remove all visible mites and eggs from Mr Balvert's ear, but hidden eggs soon hatched and his problem resurfaced.
Mr Balvert was eventually cured when microbiologist Chris Mansell recommended soaking the ear in a liquid used for scabies and head lice.
Mr Balvert, who owns a chicken shed cleaning business, believes the mites entered his ear one day when a chicken feed pan was emptied over his head.