Darwin-based Hendrik Helmer's ordeal began in the early hours of Wednesday morning when he was woken by a sharp pain in his right ear, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said.
"I was hoping it was not a poisonous spider... I was hoping it didn't bite me," he said, adding that as the pain got worse he tried to suck the insect out with a vacuum cleaner before squirting water in his ear.
"Whatever was in my ear didn't like it at all," he told the broadcaster Friday.
With the pain becoming excruciating, his flatmate rushed him to hospital where a doctor put oil down the ear canal.
This only forced the two centimetre (0.8 inch) roach to crawl in deeper, before it eventually began to die.
"Near the 10 minute mark ... somewhere about there, he started to stop burrowing but he was still in the throes of death twitching," said Helmer.
At that point the doctor put forceps into his ear and pulled out the cockroach.
"She (the doctor) said, 'You know how I said a little cockroach, that may have been an underestimate'," he said.
"They said they had never pulled an insect this large out of someone's ear."
Helmer told ABC he would not be taking any added precautions when sleeping, although friends of his said they were so perturbed by his experience that they had begun going to bed with headphones on.