It is common for water to get trapped in the ear especially among swimmers and those who play water sports. If the water stays in the ear for long, it may cause discomfort, temporary hearing problems, infections and other ear complications. Therefore, important is to get the water out of your ear fast in order to avoid such occurrences. Removing water from the ear involves expelling it from the eustachian tubes, which run from the eardrum in the middle ear, through the inner ear, to the area behind the nasal passage.
Summary of Page Contents
- Symptoms of Water in Your Ear
- How Do You Get Out Water Your Ear Fast?
- 1. Jiggle Your Outer Ear
- 2. Shake Your Head
- 3. Gravity Technique
- 4. Yawn or Chew
- 5. Use a Blow Dryer
- 6. Create a Vacuum
- 7. Apply a Warm Compress
- 8. Use Olive Oil
- 9. Use Warm Steam
- 10. Use More Water
- 11. Use Valsalva Maneuver
- 12. Use Hydrogen Peroxide Eardrops
- 13. Use Alcohol and Vinegar Eardrops
- 14. Use Over-the-Counter Medication
- What to Do If You Can’t Get Water out of Your Ear
- Why Is It Necessary to Get Water out of Your Ear
- Complications That May Arise from Water in Ear
- When to See a Doctor Over Water in Your Ear
- How to Prevent Water from Getting Trapped In the Ear
- Sources and References
Symptoms of Water in Your Ear
Although some of the symptoms of water in your ear are easily noticed, others are not. Of course, there is an obvious sensation of a liquid of water in the ear. Other symptoms of water in your ear include:
- A feeling of wetness inside ear canal or inner ear
- A tickling feeling in the inner ear;
- Sloshing sounds inside the ear canal or middle ear, especially when you shake, move or tilt your head
- A sensation of muffling sound in the ear
- A sensation of uncomfortable pressure in the inner ear
- You may also experience some pain in your ear
These symptoms are likely to indicate presence of water in your ear only when they occur after you have just or recently engaged in activities that involve coming into contact act with water. They include swimming, playing in the pool, taking a shower or even being rained on. Otherwise, the symptoms might be an indication of other health problems like pus or fluid in ear or other ear infections.
How Do You Get Out Water Your Ear Fast?
When water gets trapped in your ear, you need to get it out quickly to avoid having ear problems.
There are my ways of getting water out of your ear. Usually, the water that gets trapped in the ear lies in the eustachian tubes, which extends from middle ear across the inner ear to an area that is just behind the nasal passage. Sometimes, the water might be just deep inside the ear canal close to the ear drum. The ear canal forms part of the outer ear, which includes the pinna.
The methods that can be used to get out water in the ear range from jiggling the ear to use of ear-drop OTC medications. The procedures for some of the common methods are as explained in the sections that follow.
1. Jiggle Your Outer Ear
This is probably the most obvious and regular method that is used to get water out of the ear. You just need to tilt your head down over your shoulder and tug or jiggle the ear with your hand.
Instead of jiggling, you can tap the ear gently with the palm of your hand while tilting your head down over your shoulder.
2. Shake Your Head
Shaking your head sideways can also help get water out of your ear. After shaking your head for a while, tilt your head down over the shoulder to let the water in the ear drain out of the ear Instead of shaking your head, you may choose to jump upwards several times before tilting your head.
3. Gravity Technique
With this technique, gravity does all the work for you. You just need to lie on your side with your head on a towel such that the affected ear faces down.
Keep this position for a few minutes as the water trickles out of your ear due to gravitational pull.
4. Yawn or Chew
Making your jaws move can help open your eustachian tubes and hence allow the water that is trapped in your ear come out. To get water out of your ear using this technique, do the following
- Yawn widely a number of times (you can make yourself yawn without having the urge to do so). This will relieve tension in your eustachian tubes, making them open.
- Instead, you can chew a gum rapidly, ensuring that your jaws are moving extensively. If you do not have anything to chew, just move your jaws rapidly and extensively as though chewing.
- Now tilt your head down over your shoulder to release the trapped water from your ear.
5. Use a Blow Dryer
You can use the heat from a dryer to gently heat and evaporate the water inside your ear canal. Be cautious to set your dryer to a low temperature to avoid to burn your ear. Follow the following guidelines to get out water from your ear using a blow dryer
- Set the blow dryer to its lowest setting. You can pass your palm over the heat coming from the dryer to confirm that it is not too hot for your ear.
- Hold the hair dryer some distance from the ear (about on foot) with the heat directed towards your ear. Move the dryer towards and away from the ear repeatedly.
- As the warm air blows into the ear, keep tugging your ear. The water in the ear will get warm and evaporate out of the ear.
Note that evaporation doesn’t only take place at the boiling point any warmth will always cause evaporation.
6. Create a Vacuum
In this technique you create a vacuum in the ear canal, forcing the water out of the ear.
Tilt your head over your shoulder and place the palm of your hand tightly cupped over the affected ear.
Now gently push the palm of your hand back and forth against your ear rapidly, flattening it as you push against the ear and cupping it as you pull it away
This creates a partial vacuum that pulls the water out of the ear. Repeat this several times to drain as much water as possible from the ear.
7. Apply a Warm Compress
This method is particularly useful when the water is trapped in the eustachian tubes. These tubes connect the middle ear to a part that is just near your nasal passages. Carry out the procedure using the following steps:
- Place a washcloth in fairly hot water to warm it. Remove it from the water and wring out as much water as you can from the washcloth, such that it does not drip. Be careful not to burn your hands with too hot water.
- With your head tilted down over your shoulder, apply the warm cloth to the ear and leave it for about 20-30 seconds. Remove the warm compress from the ear for a minute and apply it again. Repeat this procedure about 5 times.
- You can make this technique more effective by carrying out the procedure while your head is tilted down over your shoulder. Instead, you can lie on your side with the affected ear facing down
8. Use Olive Oil
Besides helping the water in your ear get out, olive oil has antibacterial properties that will destroy the bacteria in the ear and hence prevent infection. To use this technic, follow the following procedure.
- Place a little amount of olive oil in a small bowl and warm it
- With the aid of a clean dropper, apply a few drops of the oil into the affected ear
- Lie on your side such that the affected ear faces upwards for about 10 minutes
- Now sit up and tilt your head over down over your shoulder to allow the water in the ear drain out together with the oil used.
9. Use Warm Steam
Warm steam can also be used to get water out of your ear, especially from the middle ear through your eustachian tubes. Follow the following procedure to remove the water using steam.
- Fill a large container with hot water that is producing steam
- Hold your face over the towel and cover your head with a towel to trap and concentrate the steam over your face
- Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes Stop inhaling and remove the towel from your head
- Now tilt your head down over your shoulder to allow the water trapped in your ear come out.
10. Use More Water
This technique may sound a bit unreasonable but in actual sense, it can be used to get water out of the ear.
- Using a clean dropper, fill the affected ear with clean water while lying on your side such that the affected ear is facing upwards.
- Wait for a few seconds (about 5 seconds) and turn over to the other side, now with the affected ear facing down. The water you filled into the ear together with the water that had been trapped in the ear will drain out of the ear.
11. Use Valsalva Maneuver
This method is often used to open closed eustachian tubes (popping the ear)but it can also help get water out of your ear. When using this method, you need to be particularly very careful not to blow too hard as this is likely to damage your ear drum. Follow the following procedure:
- Close your mouth tightly and gently shut your nostrils by squeezing the front part of your nose together using you’re the thumb and index finger of one of your hands.
- Now breathe in deeply and then blow the air out of your nose slowly by slightly releasing your fingers to partially open your nostril. You are likely to hear a popping sound, which indicates that the eustachian tubes have opened.
- Now release your fingers completely and tilt your head down over your shoulder to late the water drain from the ear.
12. Use Hydrogen Peroxide Eardrops
The use of hydrogen peroxide to get water out of the ear comes with a host of benefits. Besides removing the trapped water, it destroys bacteria and clear earwax build-up and solid particles in the ear. Here is the procedure for this method:
- Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water and draw the solution into a clean dropper
- Apply about three drops of the solution into the affected ear while it is tilted down over the other shoulder
- After about three minutes, tilt the affected ear down to the side for the water to come out of the ear
- Note: Never use this method if you have any problem with your ear, especially the following conditions:
- an outer ear infection
- a perforated eardrum
- eardrum tubes (tympanostomy tubes)
13. Use Alcohol and Vinegar Eardrops
A mixture of alcohol and vinegar is an excellent solution to water in the ear. Alcohol quickly evaporates the water in the ear because it has a low boiling point. Besides, it destroys and inhibits the growth of bacteria in the ear, which may cause ear infections.
On the other hand, vinegar helps remove earwax build up, which may the reason for the water trapped in your ear. It also helps eliminate the bacteria in the ear. Follow the procedure below to get water out of your ear:
- Make eardrops from alcohol and vinegar by combining equal portions of the two. Mix them well to form a uniform solution
- Draw the mixture into a sterile dropper. Apply about three drops into the affected ear while tilting your head over the other shoulder of the affected ear.
- Straighten your head and gently rub your outer ear. After about 30 seconds, tilt your head to the side over your shoulder to let the solution out of the ear.
Note: Never use this method if you have any problem with your ear, especially the following conditions:
- an outer ear infection
- a perforated eardrum
- eardrum tubes (tympanostomy tubes)
14. Use Over-the-Counter Medication
Most of the over-the-counter medications in the form of ear drops contain alcohol. Therefore, they can help dry your ear, although they are primarily used to kill bacteria or remove earwax and small particles from the ear.
The same way some of them are used to clear middle-ear-congestion, over-the-counter ear drops can also be used to drain moisture and water that gets trapped in the ear. To use these ear drops, always follow the instructions on their packaging.
What to Do If You Can’t Get Water out of Your Ear
In case you are unable to get water out of your ear with using home remedies, do not try removing the water by sticking your finger, swabs, or any other object in your ear in your ear. This may worsen the condition in a number of ways including
- spreading bacteria to the ear, especially if the finger or object used is not sterile
- forcing the water even deeper into the ear
- Injuring your ear with the objects, especially if they have sharp edges
- perforating your ear if the objects gets deep into the ear
Why Is It Necessary to Get Water out of Your Ear
It is important to get water out of your ear as this ease discomfort in the ear and prevents ear infections, especially the swimmer’s ear.
People who get into, play or swim in water that contains a high level of bacteria are at risk getting swimmers ear. However, if you swim in clean water such as in well-maintained swimming pools, you are much safer
Generally, the ear has many defense mechanisms to protect your ear from infections, however, when the defense mechanisms are overwhelmed by germs, an infection may occur.
Naturally, susceptibility to ear infection varies from one individual to another. However, there are factors that may increase the chances of contracting ear infection including:
- Excess or frequent moisture in the ear, especially when the moisture lasts long in the ear
- When the ear has scratches or cuts, especially in the in the ear canal
- If one is allergic to various conditions, including to hair products and ear jewelry
- Having chronic skin conditions of the ear, such as psoriasis or eczema.
Complications That May Arise from Water in Ear
The complications resulting from water in ear mainly revolve around ear infection. As a result of ear infection, you may experience intense itchiness and pain, especially when you touch the ear.
Ear infection may lead to the development of fluid in ear, or the ear may ooze pus. When the infection becomes more serious it usually leads to fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and pain in the face, neck or on the side of the head of the ear involved.
Severe complications of swimmers ear include temporary impaired hearing alongside with pain and swelling or completed loss of hearing. In rare cases, it may lead to a long term ear infection, deep tissue infection, damage to bone and cartridge and the infection may spread to the nerves or the brain
When to See a Doctor Over Water in Your Ear
You need to see a doctor if you are unable to get out the water your ear using the suggested methods. The doctor will definitely find a way to help you out. However, it is very rare for these methods to fail.
You should see a doctor in case ear the ear becomes painful and inflamed. This might be an indication the ear is infected. Ear infections can be very serious and lead to cartridge and bone damage or complete hearing loss if not properly treated
You must consult a doctor immediately if the condition becomes severe, including the following:
- The ear develops is severe pain or fever
- An ear infection persists over 14 days after using antibiotic ear drops
- You experience hearing loss
- The ear infection comes back persistently
Note: It is recommended that you do not remove the earwax
How to Prevent Water from Getting Trapped In the Ear
- Always wear caps or ear plugs when you go swimming. This is particularly important for people who get into water frequently, especially those who play water sports.
- Dry your head and ears with a towel before removing the ear plug when you come out of water. If you remove the ear plugs while water is still running down from your hair, it might still get into the ear
- Shake your ear from side to side as soon as you get out of water to drain water in the ear canal and the outer ear and prevent it from getting into the middle ear
- Use a towel to dry your head and ears immediately after coming out of the water, especially if you did not wear ear plugs. This will drain all the water in your outer ear, especially the ear folds, and the water running down from your head to reduce chances of it getting into the ear
Video: How to Get Water out of Your Ear
Sources and References
- How to Remove Water from Ears: http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Water-from-Ears
- Best Ways to Get Water out of a Plugged Ear: http://www.livestrong.com/article/130861-water-out-plugged-ear/
- How to Get Water out of Your Ear: http://www.top10homeremedies.com/how-to/get-water-ear.html
- How to Get Water out of Your Ear: Six Easy Methods: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315544.php
- Ways to Get Water out of Your Ear: http://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-water-out-of-your-ear#nbsp1
- Ways to Get Water out of Your Ear: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/get-water-out-of-your-ear/