How to Get Water Out of Ears
5 Simple and Safe Ways
by Nancy Hearn, CNC
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Most of us have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of getting water trapped in our ears.
Even though swimming is often the cause, water can get stuck in the ear canal from any exposure to water, such as bathing.
The initial symptoms include muffled sounds, a tickling sensation in your ear, or a pressure that may extend down to your throat or jaw.
The good news is that the water will often drain out on its own—eventually. However, sometimes the water gets trapped, for example, due to earwax buildup.
Thus, if the water doesn’t come out on its own, it can lead to an infection. The infection is often caused by bacteria or other contaminants found in polluted water.
If you’ve never had an ear infection, believe me, you don’t want to experience it. It can be quite painful.
5 Ways to Get Water Out of Ears
All of the following are simple and easy to do. I would start with the first one and work your way down the list until you get results.
- Tug your Earlobe – Gently tugging on your earlobe while tilting your head downward toward your shoulder often does the trick. Many people instinctively try this first with good results.
- Let It Drain – The next obvious way to get the water out is to simply lie on your side for several minutes to let gravity do the work. In most cases, the water will slowly drain out of your ear.
- Suction It – Using the palm of your hand, create a vacuum over your ear to draw the water out. While sitting or lying down, tilt your head to the side and rest your ear on your cupped palm, while trying to create a tight seal. Then suction your ear by gently pushing your hand back and forth against your ear. You should feel the suctioning effect. Then tilt your head to the side and see if it will drain out.
- Use a Hair Dryer – The warm air blown from a hair dryer can evaporate the water in your ear. Use the lowest setting on your hair dryer and keep it at least a foot away from your ear. Move the hair dryer back and forth rather than straight on. With your other hand, tug on the earlobe to try to free the water.
- Use Ear Drops – If nothing else has worked, you can try adding a 1-to-1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide with water in a sterile dropper. Put 3 or 4 drops of this solution into your ear with your head tilted to the side. Lie on your side for a few minutes to let the solution work and the water to drain out. This solution may help soften earwax and prevention infection. However, you never want to use this technique (or add any type of ear drops to your ears) if you have a perforated eardrum, an outer ear infection, or eardrum tubes.
Cautions: Do not stick anything into your ears--such as your fingers, cotton swabs, bobby pins, or pencil erasers or pens--to try to remove the water. Even cotton swabs can damage the fragile lining of the ear canal or even perforate the eardrum.
Healthline.com; 13 Ways to Get Water Out of Your Ears
Webmd.com; How to Get Water Out of Your Ears
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