Swimming is often the cause, but you can get water trapped in the ear canal at any exposure to water. If this happens, you may feel a tingling sensation in your ear. Learn what to do when ears are plugged after swimming.
Usually, the water flows out by itself. If it does not, the trapped water can lead to ear infections. This type of ear infection in the outer auditory canal of the outer ear is called the swimmer’s ear.
It is easy to get water out of the ear on its own. These tips can help.
Tilt the earlobe
This first method can shake the water out of the ear right away.
- Gently pull or tilt the earlobe while tilting your head in a downward motion.
- Lie on your side for a couple of minutes. The water can slowly drain out of your ear.
Gravity will help the water drain out of your ear with this technique.
Use a hairdryer
The heat from a hairdryer can help evaporate the water inside the ear canal.
- Turn on the hairdryer to the lowest setting.
- Hold the hairdryer about away from the ear and move it in a back and forth motion.
- As you pull down on the earlobe, let the warm air blow into your ear.
Use hydrogen peroxide eardrops
Hydrogen peroxide solutions can help remove debris and earwax, trap water in the ear.
- signs of infection such as pain, swelling, heat, drainage, bleeding from the ear
- an otitis media
- a perforated eardrum
- tympanostomy tube (tympanic membrane tube)
Olive oil can also repel water from your ears.
- Apply a few drops on the inner wrist to test the temperature.
- Using a clean dropper, put a few drops of the oil into the affected ear.
Try more water
This technique can help draw water out of the ear.
- Lie on your side, fill the affected ear with water with a clean dropper.
- Wait 5 seconds and then turn around, with the affected ear facing down. All the water should drain out.
Yawning or chewing
Moving your mouth can sometimes help open the pipes. Yawning or chewing gum to relieve tension in your eustachian tubes. Do not use this method if you have any of these conditions:
Hot steam can help release water from the middle ear through Eustachian tubes. Having a hot shower or giving yourself a mini-sauna with a bowl of hot water can help.
- Fill a bowl with hot water.
- Cover your head with a towel and have your face over the bowl.
- Inhale the steam for 10 or 15 minutes, then tilt your head to the side to clear your ear.