How To Remove Water From The Ear
Water in the ear can happen to anyone, including those who don't swim.
This can occur after any water contact and is somewhat visible when it does.
You may feel tingling in your ear, and your hearing may be impaired.
In most cases, the water drains quickly from the ear.
However, if it becomes lodged, it can be highly inconvenient and lead to a swimmer's ear and ear infection.
Swimmer's ear is a skin infection of the external ear canal, which runs from the eardrum to the exterior of the head and comprises bone and cartilage.
Water in the ear can cause a bacterial or fungal infection and is typically caused by water that lingers in the ear canal, sometimes trapped beneath cerumen (earwax).
In this damp environment, bacteria and fungi can flourish.
Fortunately, removing the water from your ear is not difficult. If water has become stuck in your ear, follow these measures.
Turn your head.
Changing your head posture by tilting your head is the quickest and easiest technique to get water out of your ear.
Drain the water from your ear. Make a vacuum by tilting your head to the side and sealing your ear with your palm.
Then, rapidly but gently, move your hand back and forth. Continue to tilt your head until the water drips from your ear. You can also soak up the water by lying on your side for a few minutes and resting your head on a towel.
Pull your ear gently.
Dr Jethanamest recommends gently pulling backwards or downward on the earlobe to get water out of your ear. “This can frequently shift the ear canal cartilage, making it straighter and allowing the water to roll out,” adds Dr Jethanamest.
“When we wish to inspect the ear and eardrum, we gently pull on the ear in this manner.” You can also do this while softly shaking your head from side to side.
Clear your ears.
If gravity and movement are ineffective, try flushing your ear with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar using an eyedropper or a small syringe.
The rubbing alcohol helps to dry out the ear, while the vinegar generates an acidic environment in which germs do not thrive.
Put three or four drops of the mixture in your ear, then gently rub the outside of your ear. Tilt your head to the side after 30 seconds to enable the mixture to drain.
You should not use this approach if you have an outer ear infection, a ruptured eardrum, or a tympanic tube (ear drum tube).
Make use of a hair dryer.
To air dry your ear, use a hair dryer in a low/relaxed setting and keep the hair drier a few inches away from your ear. Gently pull on your earlobe while moving it back and forth.
Hydrogen peroxide should be used to dissolve wax.
If you believe that wax and water have gathered in your ear, use a pipette to apply a hydrogen peroxide solution to the ear canal. Hydrogen peroxide can sometimes release or dissolve ear wax and aid in the removal of water trapped in the ear canal.
To remove earwax, ear drops containing a combination of urea and hydrogen peroxide, known as carbamide peroxide, are available online or over the counter.
However, if you have a pinna infection, a ruptured eardrum, or a tympanostomy tube, you should not utilise this approach (ear drum tube).
Keep your hands away from cotton swabs.
You may be tempted to use cotton swabs to feel around in your ear to dislodge trapped water, but this is not recommended. Avoid placing anything deep into your ear since it might cause more harm than benefit.
You risk introducing bacteria into the area, pushing the water deeper into your ear, injuring your ear canal, or even puncturing your eardrum, necessitating a trip to the emergency room.
When should you consult a doctor regarding water in your ear?
If the suggestions above do not help and the fluid sensation persists for more than a few days, consult your doctor. Fluid can quickly develop into an outer or middle ear effusion if not appropriately treated [when the fluid beneath the eardrum thickens or becomes sticky].
Congestion or a sense of fullness in the ear, hearing loss, and sometimes crackling or sloshing sounds in the ear when it is in different positions are all signs that water has accumulated in the middle ear (otitis media) than the external ear canal.
However, it would help if you did not attempt to diagnose it and should consult your healthcare physician instead. A doctor will need to examine you with an otoscope or microscope to diagnose a middle ear infection accurately.
A congested nose can sometimes create middle ear fluid; in these circumstances, decongestants or nasal sprays containing steroids may be prescribed and are available over the counter.
However, it is critical to have an exact diagnosis from your doctor.
If you experience more severe symptoms, such as pain or swelling of the skin or areas around the ear, you may have an ear infection, which is another reason to consult your doctor.