Both kids and adults alike can get water trapped in the ear during and after swimming. However, it can also occur at any other time when people come in contact with water, like during bathing.
In some cases, when water gets trapped in the ear, it drains out naturally. But when it doesn’t, a condition known as swimmer’s ear may develop. Therefore, it’s vital to get the water out from your ear as fast as possible.
When people have water trapped in the ear, they may experience a tickling sensation around the ear, jaw, and throat. They may also experience reduced hearing as sounds become muffled.
When this happens, don’t insert any objects into your ear canal. This includes objects like pens, bobby pins, cotton-tipped swabs, and fingers.
Inserting any of these objects can damage the delicate lining of the ear canal and increase the risk of infection. There are various ways to get water out of your ear safely.
Use any of the following tips to get water out of your ear safely
- Tilt your head down towards the shoulder and jiggle your earlobe. You can also try shaking your head from side to side.
- Create a vacuum with your palm. Tilt your head sideways, and keep your palm tightly cupped on the affected ear. Begin flattening and cupping your palm rapidly. A vacuum will be created and may pull the water out.
- Try evaporating the trapped water using a blow dryer. Set the blow dryer to a low setting and hold about 1 foot away from your head.
- Start jigging your earlobe while moving the blow dryer back-and-forth; the heat from the dryer may help to evaporate the trapped water.
- Engage in some jaw movement activity like yawning or chewing gum. After a few minutes of jaw movement, tilt the affected ear toward the ground.
- Lie down on your side for a few minutes with the affected ear resting on a soft pillow or towel. Gravity will do the rest.
- Use hydrogen peroxide ear drops. It’s available in most drug stores. Use 3 to 4 drops of the solution, after 2 to 3 minutes, tilt your head towards the affected side, and the fluid will drain. Use alcohol and vinegar solution. You can make equal parts of vinegar and alcohol at home.
- Use 3 or 4 drops of the solution in the affected ear, after 30 seconds, tilt your head sideways, and the solution will drain out. The alcohol helps to evaporate the water, while the vinegar helps to prevent bacteria from growing.
How to Prevent Water from Getting Trapped in Your Ear?
- Wear earplugs or a swimming cap when you go swimming. Doctors recommend that people who frequently engage in water sports should wear earplugs.
- Also, shaking your head from side to side after swimming will help to prevent water from getting into the ears.
- Dry the outside of your ear with a towel after spending time immersed in water.
When to See a Doctor
An ENT specialist should be consulted if trapped water lasts for several days, especially if the ear starts to hurt.
Ignoring a swimmer’s ear may lead to a severe infection that could damage the cartilage and bones in the ear resulting in a hearing loss.
Don’t insert cotton swabs or other cleaning objects in a bid to remove trapped water. Doing so will not only push the water deeper into your ear but can also compress earwax in your ear canal or even puncture your eardrum.
Visit our nearest branches in Shah Alam, Johor Bahru and Melaka to have your ears professionally cleaned and drained by an ENT specialist if you have water trapped inside. For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us.