Water in Ear: Easy Solutions to Clear Your Ears

Ah, the refreshing sensation of a cool dip on a hot summer day. But, what happens when water gets trapped in your ear? It’s not just an annoying sensation; it can lead to complications. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of water in ear, its causes, symptoms, and how to get rid of it quickly and effectively. We’ll also discuss when it’s time to seek health care professionals like Discount Daily Hearing and preventative measures to keep your ears dry and healthy.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding water in the ear is important as it can lead to a range of issues from discomfort and hearing impairment to more serious infections.
  • Common causes include water retention due to swimming or bathing, and earwax buildup, which can cause various infections.
  • Taking preventative measures such as proper ear care, protective gear and keeping ears dry are key steps for avoiding trapped fluid in the ear canal. Discount Daily Hearing also offers waterproof Phonak hearing aids.

Understanding Water in the Ear

A diagram of the ear canal showing how water can get trapped

Water trapped in the ear is a common issue that most people have experienced at least once in their lives. This problem, while seemingly insignificant, can lead to:

  • Discomfort
  • Hearing impairment
  • Infections such as swimmer’s ear, or otitis externa
  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Damage to bone and cartilage
  • Malignant otitis externa
  • In rare cases, the spread of infection to the base of the skull or cranial nerves.

Ear Anatomy and Water Trapping

The human ear comprises the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The outer ear canal, a narrow passage in the outer ear, is prone to trapping water. This is mainly due to the presence of an oily wax that protects the delicate skin of the ear canal and aids in cleaning and lubrication. Water can remain in the ear against gravity due to the combined effect of the ear canal’s shape and the presence of earwax, which can obstruct airflow and impede the release of water pressure.

Sometimes, medical intervention is necessary for fluid drainage. For example, ear tubes may be recommended to treat persistent water trapping in the ear. However, there are also various home remedies that can help remove trapped water from your ear.

Common Causes of Water in Ear

Several factors can lead to water becoming trapped in your ear. The most common cause is water retention in the ear canal, often due to swimming or bathing. In some instances, earwax buildup can also contribute to water being held back in the ear.

When water remains in the ear, it can lead to an infection called swimmer’s ear, which is typically caused by bacteria. However, less frequently, it can also be attributed to fungi or viruses. Having understood how water can get trapped in the ear and the associated risks, let’s examine the symptoms that may arise.

Symptoms of Water in Ear

A person with water in their ear, experiencing physical discomfort

If you’ve ever experienced water trapped in your ear, you know how uncomfortable it can be. The symptoms usually include:

  • A tingling or itching sensation that radiates from the ear to the jaw or throat
  • Difficulty hearing, such as muffled sounds
  • In severe instances, redness in your ear canal or fluid discharge might be noticeable, indicating an infection such as swimmer’s ear.

Physical Discomfort

A person holding their ear with water droplets on their skin, indicating the discomfort caused by water in ear.

Various types of physical discomfort can arise from water trapped in the ear, including:

  • Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)
  • Ear pain
  • Liquid or pus discharge from the ear
  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Ear bleeding
  • Headaches

The damp environment created by water in the ear can lead to an infection, causing intense ear pain and headaches.

Moreover, water trapped in the inner ear can disrupt the vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining equilibrium. This can cause sensations of dizziness or vertigo, underscoring the need to remove water from the ear to prevent these balance issues.

Hearing Impairment

Water in the ear can significantly affect your hearing. It can lead to a muffled or blocked sensation, temporary hearing loss, and difficulty in hearing sounds clearly. When water enters the ear canal, it can create a moist environment that promotes the growth of bacteria or fungi, leading to infections such as swimmer’s ear. This moist environment can also interfere with the transmission of sound waves, resulting in temporary hearing loss or muffled sound perception.

Although water in the ear can result in temporary hearing loss, permanent hearing loss is unlikely. However, if left untreated, a long-term infection or chronic otitis externa could potentially cause hearing loss. If symptoms persist, seeking medical attention is recommended.

Infection Risks

Trapped water in the ear can result in an outer ear infection, otherwise known as swimmer’s ear. The presence of trapped water in the ear canal provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, as the moisture in the ear canal enables bacterial growth. Furthermore, exposure to contaminated water and any damage to the delicate skin of the ear can increase the risk of bacterial growth.

If left untreated, swimmer’s ear may result in the following complications:

  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Chronic otitis externa
  • Malignant otitis externa
  • Narrowing of the ear canal
  • The potential for the infection to spread to other parts of the ear

Hence, taking preventive measures to stop water from entering the ear is crucial, as is seeking health care provider advice and considering antibiotic ear drops treatment if middle ear infection symptoms continue.

Home Remedies for Removing Water in Ear

A person tilting their head to the side to allow water to drain out of their ear

Often, simple home remedies can safely remove water from your ear. These remedies include gravity-assisted techniques, safe solutions, and drying methods. Keep in mind that while these remedies can be effective, it’s essential to be gentle and avoid inserting anything into the ear canal to prevent further complications.

Gravity-Assisted Techniques

Gravity can be your friend when it comes to removing water from your ear. One common technique is to lie on your side with the affected ear parallel to the floor and gently jiggle the earlobe, allowing the water to drain out. Another method is the “tilt and tug” technique, where you tilt your head to the side with the affected ear facing downwards and gently pull on the earlobe or upper ear to assist in draining the water out.

When using gravity-assisted techniques, a few precautions are important. Be sure to lie on your side and remain still for a few minutes to allow gravity to aid in draining the water. Additionally, it’s essential to maintain appropriate hygiene by washing your hands before and after the procedure.

Use of Safe Solutions

You can use several safe solutions to remove water from your ear at home. These include:

  • Jiggling the earlobe
  • Taking advantage of gravity by tilting your head
  • Creating a vacuum by covering the ear and applying gentle pressure in and out
  • Using a blow dryer on the lowest setting
  • Utilizing eardrops or sprays

Additionally, a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide may be effective in loosening or dissolving ear wax and facilitating the elimination of water trapped in the ear canal. These methods can help evaporate the water and clear moisture from the ear. However, it’s essential to be gentle and avoid inserting anything, such as cotton swabs, into the ear canal to prevent injury.

Drying Methods

You can also use drying methods to remove trapped water from your ear. One such method is using a blow dryer on the lowest setting, holding it at least a foot away from your ear, and allowing the warm air to evaporate the trapped water. Over-the-counter ear drops can also be beneficial in drying out the ear; they typically contain components like isopropyl alcohol and glycerin, which help dry the ear canal and reduce the likelihood of swimmer’s ear.

If you prefer a more natural approach, you can try drying out your ear using a towel. Lie on your side with your head on a towel and allow gravity to assist in draining the water from your ear. Then, gently pat the outer ear with the towel to absorb any remaining water.

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When to Seek Medical Help

A person with an ear infection, seeking medical help

While home remedies can be effective in removing water from your ear, there are times when it’s necessary to seek medical help. If your condition persists or doesn’t improve within a few days after trying home remedies, it’s advisable to consult a health care professional.

Furthermore, if you observe any fluid discharge from your ear, experience swelling, tenderness, or inflammation, it’s advisable to consult a doctor without delay.

Persistent Symptoms

Monitoring your symptoms and seeking medical help if they continue is vital. Possible long-term effects of water trapped in the ear may include:

  • Moderate symptom progression
  • Intensified itching
  • Increased pain
  • Greater redness in the ear
  • Excessive fluid drainage
  • A feeling of fullness inside the ear

Swimmer’s ear symptoms typically persist for up to three weeks. However, if symptoms remain for longer than one week or become worse, it’s advisable to seek medical advice.

Over time, water trapped in the ear can disrupt your balance and coordination by interfering with the vestibular system, which maintains equilibrium. Prolonged abnormal fluid concentration may cause damage to the sensory cells responsible for hearing and balance. If you experience persistent symptoms, it’s vital to seek medical attention.

Signs of Infection

When dealing with water trapped in the ear, it’s critical to recognize the signs of infection. Typical indications of an ear infection caused by water in the ear include:

  • itching in the ear canal
  • redness inside the ear
  • mild discomfort exacerbated by tugging on the ear
  • clear fluid draining from the ear
  • escalating itchiness

The presence of trapped water in the ear canal provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, as the moisture in the ear canal enables bacterial growth.

Contact your health care provider if you experience even mild symptoms of swimmer’s ear. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away or go to the emergency room. Don’t wait and seek prompt medical attention for swimmer’s ear.

  • Intense pain
  • High fever
  • Severe swelling
  • Difficulty hearing

Ear Injury

An ear injury related to water in the ear refers to any damage caused by water entering the ear canal. This can include harm to the ear canal, eardrum, or other parts of the ear. A doctor can diagnose an ear injury related to water in the ear through a physical examination and by inquiring about the symptoms reported by the patient. They may also utilize a lighted tool referred to as an otoscope to assess for any infection or damage in the ear.

If an ear injury from water in the ear is not treated promptly, potential complications may include:

  • Bone and cartilage damage
  • Spread of the infection to the base of the skull or brain
  • Necrotizing otitis externa
  • Mild hearing loss
  • Long-term damage to the bone, cartilage, or hearing

Seeking medical help is crucial if you suspect an ear injury due to water in the ear.

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Preventative Measures for Water in Ear

A person wearing ear plugs to protect their ears from water

Preventing water from getting trapped in your ear is the best way to avoid the uncomfortable sensations and potential complications that can arise from this issue. To prevent water from entering your ear and causing problems, it’s recommended to maintain proper ear care, use protective gear, and keep your ears dry.

Proper Ear Care

To prevent water from getting trapped in your ear, it’s necessary to maintain proper ear hygiene and care. To clean your ears effectively, it’s suggested to gently wipe the external ear with a moist washcloth after showering. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal to remove earwax, as this can cause injury.

In addition, it’s essential to avoid swimming in contaminated water, as this can increase the risk of developing ear infections.

Protective Gear

Using protective gear can help keep water from entering your ear during swimming or other water-related activities. Earplugs, swimming headbands, and swim caps are effective in preventing water from entering the ears and can provide a protective barrier that helps to maintain a dry ear canal.

Choosing the appropriate protective gear and using it consistently can significantly reduce your risk of developing water-related ear issues.

Keeping Ears Dry

Finally, to prevent water-related ear issues, it’s vital to keep your ears as dry as possible. After swimming or showering, make sure to dry your ears completely by tilting your head and gently patting your ears with a soft towel. Utilize swimming earplugs or swim caps while swimming or engaging in water-related activities to help keep your ears dry and reduce the risk of developing swimmer’s ear.


In conclusion, water in the ear is a common issue that can lead to discomfort, hearing impairment, and even infections if not addressed properly. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and remedies for water in the ear, you can take proactive steps to prevent and treat this issue. Maintain proper ear care, utilize protective gear, and keep your ears dry to minimize the risk of water-related ear problems. If you experience persistent symptoms or signs of infection, don’t hesitate to contact Discount Daily Hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get rid of trapped water in your ear?

To get rid of trapped water in your ear, try jiggling your earlobe, tilting your head or lying on your side for a few minutes to let gravity do the work, and chew, yawn, shake and tug your jaw and ears. Additionally, you can use a blow dryer, eardrops or sprays, or just plain water to help remove the water.

How serious is water in the ear?

Water in the ear can be serious as it can lead to infection, such as swimmer’s ear or otitis externa, which can potentially cause hearing loss if left untreated.

What home remedies can help remove trapped water from the ear?

Gravity-assisted techniques, hydrogen peroxide, and drying methods such as using a hairdryer or towel can all be helpful for removing water trapped in the ear.

How can I prevent water from entering my ear while swimming?

Protective gear such as earplugs, swimming headbands, and swim caps can help keep water from entering your ears while swimming.

When should I seek medical help for water in my ear?

If home remedies do not improve your condition or it persists for a few days, you should seek medical help for water in your ear. Look out for signs of fluid discharge, swelling, tenderness, or inflammation.