Whoever likes swimming may occasionally have to deal with the water getting inside the ears. Whenever you put your head under the water and tilt to a certain degree, you make it easy for water to enter the ear.
Sometimes the wax present inside prevents it, but very often the water gets into the outer or middle ear. It normally gives a tickling sensation and discomfort, which are perfectly natural and are not a reason to worry.
However, in some cases, the water might get into the middle ear and – if not treated properly – may cause pain, cyst formation, loss of hearing and inflammation of the ear canal, which is known as ‘Swimmer’s Ear’. That is why you should contact the doctor if none of the ways of getting rid of water from your ear that we present below works.
How To Prevent The Problem
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so above all you should try to avoid getting the water in your ear. Here are a few simple tips.
Dry Your Ears Well
It doesn’t mean you have to rub them with a towel or use a blow dryer, of course, but after every contact with water, that is after swimming, taking a bath or a shower, make sure you tilt your head to one side, then another and wipe your ears with a clean cloth. Don’t press too much because you can accidentally make some extra pressure that will push the liquid even deeper inside.
It is especially important to dry your ears after swimming in the sea or the ocean because the water might contain bacteria that could be dangerous for your ear since it may cause an infection in case it gets into the middle ear. Be extra careful if you are prone to getting liquid into your ear. It all depends on the shape of an individual’s ear and some people simply have to deal with it more often, sometimes even every time they go swimming or take a shower.
Don’t Use Earplugs, Earphones or Cotton Swabs
While earplugs and earphones are generally harmless when used properly, they might add to the pain if you use them when you have some liquid stuck in your ear. They not only don’t allow the water come freely out of the ear, but also push the liquid inside due to the pressure created when you stuck the earplugs or earphones into the outer ear. Try to avoid using either of them while you’re dealing with the problem. You will be less prone to an ear infection and the water will come out more easily.
Also, resist the temptation to clean your ears with cotton swabs. Even though you might think it’s the best way to clear the wax, the liquid or a foreign object from your ear, what you do in fact is just push it even deeper. Avoid using cotton swabs for your ears and switch to cleansing ear drops instead. They are safe and much more effective than physical removal of wax or water from your ear.
Protect Your Ears
Every time you go swimming in the swimming pool, cover your ears with a cap to prevent the water from entering the ear canal. Whenever a swimming cap is not suitable, like for example on the beach, you can prepare your ears before you enter the water. Get some cleansing ear drops or a few drops of mineral oil and apply them to each ear before you go out. This will not only make it easier for the water to come out of your ear once it gets there, but also give you some extra protection against the bacteria.
Also, to prevent the ears from getting clogged, cover them whenever you use hair sprays or hair dye. The chemicals may create residue that contributes to the creation of debris inside the ear canal. The more impurities there are in your ears, the more chances there are that the liquid will have problems getting out of there.
Best Ways To Get Water Out Of Your Ear
Lie Down or Tilt Your Head
Before you try anything else, you should let the gravity do the work. Simply tilt your head in such a way that your ear is parallel to the ground. You can shake your head gently. To speed up the process, you can create a temporary vacuum in your ear by pressing your hand flat against the ear and pressing for 4-5 seconds. Release the hand quickly and let the water flow out. Repeat the process if necessary.
The same result can be achieved by pushing a finger in and pulling it out rapidly. Just make sure you do it in the ear that’s facing down, otherwise you can push the water even deeper. You can try to massage your ear gently by moving your finger inside clockwise or counter-clockwise during the in-phase of vacuum treatment. It may help loosen up the moist and wax in your ear.