Many people get water in their ears after swimming or after taking a bath. While it usually just feels annoying, it can also cause inflammation if it doesn't clear up on its own. This is also known as a swimmer's ear. Fortunately, it's usually not that hard to get the water out of your ear using a few quick tricks. If you can't solve it at home and you get earaches, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Method 1 of 2: Home remedies
Step 1. Make an ear drop solution of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part alcohol
In addition to drying the ear, this also prevents infections. Gently instill 1 teaspoon / 5 ml in the affected ear. Then carefully let it flow out again.
- The acid in this solution dissolves the wax that may be preventing the water from flowing out of the ear canal. The alcohol dries quickly and takes the water with it.
- The alcohol will make the water in your ear evaporate faster.
- Don't do this if you have a hole in your eardrum!
Step 2. Create a vacuum in your ear
Point the affected ear downwards and press the palm of your hand on your ear with a pumping motion so that the water comes out. Do not do this with the ear facing up as this can cause the water to get even deeper.
- Alternatively, you can point the ear downward, put your finger in it and create a vacuum with your finger by quickly moving your finger back and forth. The water will soon come out of your ear. Note that this is not the ideal method, as damaging your ear canal can lead to infections. In any case, make sure you don't have long nails when doing this.
- In addition, during the "in" phase of the vacuum method, it may be beneficial to gently massage the ear clockwise or counterclockwise while the pressure is high. This can help release the damp laundry. This can be especially helpful if your hearing is affected.
Step 3. Blow dry your ear
While this may sound a little weird to you, blow-drying your ear often works very well. Set a hair dryer on the lowest setting, keep it at least 30 centimeters from your head and blow dry your ear. Just make sure it's not too hot and that you don't hold the hair dryer too close to your ear, or you could burn yourself.
Alternatively, you can blow the warm air in front of the opening rather than directly into it. The moment warm, dry air blows over water, the moisture is evaporated
Step 4. Buy ear drops that are made to get water out of ears
These are available in the drugstore and usually contain alcohol, which evaporates quickly. Put the ear drops in your ear as directed and tilt your head to allow the water to flow out.
As with the homemade remedy, you can ask someone to help you with this
Step 5. Rub your ear with a cloth
Slowly and gently rub your ear with a soft cloth while tilting your ear towards the cloth. Make sure you don't press the cloth in your ear, because then you can push the water in further.
Step 6. Tilt your head to the side
An alternative method is to stand on one leg and turn your head in this way with the specific ear pointing towards the floor. Hop on one leg until the water flows out. If you pull on your earlobe or the top of the auricle, you can widen the ear canal a bit so that the water comes out more easily.
You can also omit the hopscotch and just tilt your head to the side
Step 7. Lie on your side on the floor with the ear facing down
Gravity then ensures that the water flows out slowly. Simply lie down with the affected ear on the floor, or on a pillow if that is more comfortable for you. Lie down like this for a few minutes. You can watch TV, or do something else to while the time if you want to.
If you have water in your ear at night, make sure you sleep on that ear. That increases the chance that the water will come out when you sleep
Step 8. Pretend you are munching on some food by moving your jaws around your ears
Tilt your head to the side where there is no water, then quickly tilt your head to the other side. You can also chew some gum to loosen the trapped water. The water in your ears is trapped in your Eustachian tube, part of your inner ear, and the chewing motion can help loosen it.
For a double effect, chew gum with your head tilted
Step 9. Yawn
Sometimes you can pop the "bubble" of water simply by yawning. Any movement that can relieve the tension can loosen the water. If you feel a "pop" or feel the water move it can help a little. Just like chewing gum, you can open the Eustachian tube with this.
Step 10. See your doctor if necessary
You should go to the doctor if you get pain in your ear. Know that an ear infection can also feel like water stuck in your ear and you should get that treated too. There is a chance that the pain is caused by irritation or inflammation known as swimmer's ear. If you experience the following symptoms, you should see your doctor right away:
- Yellow or yellow-green pus, or foul-smelling discharge from your ear.
- Earache that gets worse when you pull on your pinna.
- Hearing loss
- Itching of the ear canal or the pinna
Method 2 of 2: Preventing future problems
Step 1. Dry your ears well after swimming
When you get out of the water, whether you've been in the sea, in the pool or just bathed, you should dry your ears thoroughly. Wipe the water off the outside of your ears with a clean towel and pat the area closer to the ear canal dry as well. Make sure to turn your head to either side and shake excess water from your ears.
It's true that some are more sensitive to water in their ears than others, because it has to do with how your ears are shaped. If you often have water in your ears, you should be extra careful
Step 2. Avoid using cotton swabs to clean your ears
You may think that you can actually empty your ears with a cotton swab, whether they have water, wax or something else in them. But a cotton swab can actually backfire because you press it deeper into your ears. You can also damage the inside of your ears, causing even more pain.
You can also damage the inside of your ear with the tip of a tissue
Step 3. Do not use earplugs or cotton balls in your ears if there is water in them
If you put earplugs in when you go to sleep, you can push water or other things deeper into your ears. If you have an earache or the feeling that there is water in your ear, do not use earplugs for the time being.
Also, do not put in-ear headphones in your ears if you have ear pain
- Do not pick or scratch your ear as it may become inflamed.
- There are alcohol-based remedies that you can buy at the drugstore that are specifically intended to get water out of your ear.
- Be careful not to damage your ear.
- Blow your nose. The change in air pressure can sometimes help.
- Tilting your head quickly from side to side can also work.
- Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into your ear, with your ear turned up. Then turn your head so that it is pointing downwards. The water will come out immediately.
- With these methods, a mixture of warm earwax and water flows out of your ear. Be careful that it does not stain a valuable surface.
- See your doctor if these tips don't work.
- Be careful not to fall when you are playing hopscotch. Hold on to a chair or armrest.
- Rubbing alcohol should only be used externally. Don't swallow it. Call 112 if this does happen.
- Alcohol can sting if it comes into contact with the skin.
- Don't push anything further into your ear. Cotton swabs and other things push it deeper into your canal and can damage the skin, which in turn can lead to infections.