How to Get Water Out of Your Ear After Swimming

As the saying goes, don’t panic when swimming, trust the water and go with the flow. Think of water as a friend because it’s not something you have to struggle with. Share the same energy as the water, and it’ll help you move. However, it’s very common to get water trapped in the ears while swimming in the hustle and bustle. It gives a pressure or tickling sensation in the ear. And, you know how uncomfortable and awkward this sensation can be. Apart from this irritating sensation, water trapped in the ear canal can lead to an ear infection. This outer ear infection is called a swimmer’s ear. Water trapped in the ear is supposed to drain naturally. If not, you must get that water safely out of the ear. Doing it wrong can increase the potential for severe infection. You can follow the techniques mentioned in the article to get rid how to get water out of your ear after swimming.

water stuck in ear for days

Why Does Water Get Trapped in the Ear After Swimming?

In the course of swimming, the ear is exposed to water for a long time. So there is a high probability of water getting stuck in the ears. Swimmers with narrow ear canals are likelier to have water inside their ears. Sometimes too much ear wax buildup in the ears causes water to get stuck. This causes bacteria in the ear to multiply, eventually leading to severe infections. Also, it causes bone growth in the ear canal owing to frequent temperature changes.

Tips to Get Water Out of Ear After Swimming

Of course, you can’t stop water from entering your ears while swimming. But what you can do is drain water out of your ears safely. Trapped water rarely needs medical treatment. Most of the time, you can drain it out at home.

1. Let Gravity Do the Job

When water gets into the ears, you should first try the tilting method. It is the fast and easiest way to get the water out of the ears. Tile your head on the side with the affected ear facing down. Absorb the water in the outer ear with a soft towel or cloth. Lie in that position for a while and let gravity do the job. The water will make its way down and come out of the ear. This process may not work all the time. Still, it’s worth giving a try.

Please Note: You should avoid sticking the soft towel or cloth into the canal.

2. Shake your Earlobe

If gravity fails to do the job, you can try shaking your earlobe. Many people instinctively do this after they get water trapped in their ears. Lean to one side toward the shoulder with the affected ear facing down. Wait for a while, being still in this position. It helps the water drain from the ear. Then, hold the earlobe with your thumb and gently move or tug the earlobe. Shake your earlobe in all directions so water gets a path to drain out. The trapped water will come out quickly through this process if it doesn’t penetrate far. If the water gets into the deeper area, try jaw wiggling, yawning constant chewing motions. Then, tug the earlobe. It will help the water to move to the outer ear canal.

Please Note: If you feel pain while shaking your earlobe, you likely have an infection. It’s time to see a health professional.

3. Vacuum Method

This method basically comprises using your palm to create a vacuum that helps draw out the water. Tilt your head with the affected ears facing down. Place your cupped palm around the ear and create a tight seal. Keeping your cupped palm in that position, push your palm back and forth. While pressing the palm into the ear, it should be flattened. And cupping the palm as you pull it away again. While doing so, ensure you feel suction and release in the ear. Do this for a few minutes in a rapid motion. After a while, tile your head with the affected ear facing down. It will help the trapped water to drain out.

4. Evaporating Technique

Trapped water can be drained out using the evaporating technique. Many people choose a blow dryer to disappear excess water from the ear. Switch on the blow dryer and keep it on the lowest setting. Place your head on a pillow with the affected ear facing upward. Hold the blow dryer at least 12 inches away from the ear. Pull on the earlobe to widen the opening of the ear canal. So, the air blows directly into the ear canal and vanishes trapped water.

Please Note: Make sure to try this method in a clean, dust-free room. Otherwise, dust around can blow into your ear and cause bacterial infection.

5. Try a Warm Compress

Doctors often suggest using a warm compress to loosen congestion in the ear. It also relaxes the tissues in the ear and reduces any discomfort. You can create a warm compress at home. It is simple. Soak a washcloth or towel in warm water. Extract any excess water and fold the towel. Tilt the head and place your head over the warm compress. Rest your ear for 10-15 minutes. Allow the warmth to drain out trapped water.

6. Make Alcohol and Vinegar Eardrop at Home

The alcohol and vinegar mixture works like magic to drain trapped water. It actually evaporates the water. Moreover, this solution prevents bacteria growth, breaks down excess ear wax, and removes any buildup blocking the ear. Mix equal parts of alcohol and vinegar to make a solution. Lean your head with the affected ear facing up. Apply 3-4 drops of the eardrop using a sterile dropper. Rub the outer canal to let the piqued into place. Wait for 30 seconds. Then, lean your head with the affected ear facing down over a towel. Allow the alcohol and vinegar solution to drain out.

Please Note: Avoid this method if you have a middle ear infection, perforated eardrum, ruptured eardrum, or eardrum tubes.

7. Try Olive Oil

Many people use warm olive oil to drain trapped water out of the ear. Apply a few drops of olive oil directly into the ear. Lie on with the affected ear facing up for 10 minutes. Then, tilt the ear on the other side to drain the water and oil.

8. Try Hydrogen Peroxide Eardrop

Hydrogen peroxide eardrop is often used to remove ear wax from the ears. You can find it over-the-counter or online. Lean your head with the affected ear facing up. Apply 2-3 drops of hydrogen peroxide eardrop. Wait for a few minutes. Lie your head into a towel with the affected area facing up. Let the water drain out.

Please Note: Avoid using hydrogen peroxide eardrop if you have;

  • Open cuts in the ear canal
  • Ear tubes
  • A ruptured eardrum
  • Ear infection
  • Ear surgery recently

How to Prevent Water from Getting into Ears While Swimming?

Following the easy rules mentioned below, you can prevent water from getting into your ears.

  • Use a swim cap or earplugs while swimming
  • Try not to submerge your head in the water
  • Dry the outside of your ear after you are done bathing or swimming
  • Place a cotton ball coated with petroleum jelly in the outer ear while swimming

Final Words

From now on, don’t stop swimming for fear of getting water in your ears. Turn your fear into courage. The glee of swimming shall not be missed. Even if the water gets into your ears, now you know how to get it out of your ear. Trapped water is expected to come out of the ear following any of the techniques described above. When the water is trapped for 2-3 days, and you notice signs of infection, seek medical treatment immediately.