How To Get Water Out of Your Ear: Try These 5 Methods

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Happy African man has water in his ear after swimming

You enjoyed going for a swim earlier today, but now, you feel a little tickle in your ear. Honing in on this sensation and you realise your ear feels full. And you’re starting to have trouble hearing.

Yes, water has become trapped in your ear. It’s not draining out on its own, and you have no clue as to how to get it out. You feel just as stuck as the water in your ear canal.

Anyone who has experienced trapped water in their ears can attest to its annoyance. And unfortunately, if you don’t remove it, this may lead to an infection called swimmer’s ear. 

Fortunately, we’ve provided a guide on how to get water out of your ears.

Let’s jump in!

1. Jiggle Your Earlobe to Get Water out of Your Ear

This method may help you to expel the water trapped in your ear immediately. Tilt your head downward so that it’s closer to your shoulder. Then, gently jiggle or tug your earlobe. Pull your earlobe up and down, side-to-side and carefully massage it.

You could also gently bob your head towards the ground while it’s tilted to try to remove the trapped water.

2. Create a Vacuum Using the Palm of Your Hand

Place the palm of your hand flat over your ear. While tilting your blocked ear towards the ground, create a light vacuum by gently pumping your palm in and out. 

It might take a little practice to get it just right. If you don’t feel a vacuum sensation right away, shift the position of your palm to try and create a seal around your ear. If you have long hair, move it to the side or tuck it behind your ear.   

This slight vacuum might give the water the encouragement it needs to vacate your ear.

3. Try the Blow Dryer Method

This method involves using a hair blow dryer to help to evaporate your ear canal’s trapped water.

First, turn on the blow dryer, and select the lowest setting. Then, position the dryer around 30 centimetres away from the ear.

Next, pull down on the problem earlobe, and move your dryer back and forth, so warm air enters your ear.

4. Add More Water To Your Ear

No, we’re not kidding. This technique might not sound logical, but adding extra water to your ear could actually help to draw out trapped water.

Lie down on the side of the body that doesn’t have the affected ear. Then, drip water into your problem ear using a dropper.

Next, wait five seconds and flip over. At this point, your affected ear should be facing downward. Ideally, both the trapped water and the newly added water will drain out.

5. Apply Eardrops

Make your eardrops using an equal mixture of white vinegar and isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Or your local pharmacist may be able to assist you with the purchase of something similar.

Tilt your head to one side and apply 3 or 4 drops to the affected ear. Wait a few seconds and carefully tip your head to the other side. It’s handy to hold a tissue to your ear to catch any escaping liquid.

Vinegar and isopropyl alcohol are both antimicrobial, and the alcohol will help evaporate any residual water.

Please note, don’t use ear drops if you suspect your eardrum is perforated or you have an ear infection (i.e. any ear pain, swelling, discharge or discomfort). And of course, don’t try this method if you have eardrum tubes, also known as tympanostomy tubes.

If you experience any pain or discomfort using eardrops, please seek medical advice.

How We Can Help

If you’re having ear issues, our registered nurses and audiologists can help you overcome them easily.

Our nurses possess broad experience in recognising as well as addressing the majority of ear ailments. 

Earwax may narrow your ear canal and make it more difficult for water to drain out. In this case, your ear nurse will use microsuction to clean your ears. 

On occasion, water can get stuck due to the narrowing of your ear canal caused by surfer’s ear. Using a microscope your ear nurse can help identify if this is the case.

Schedule an appointment with us today so that we can help your ears to feel clean and free of any blockages.

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