Having water in your ears after immersing your head in the pool or in the sea is something that can happen and that, in principle, does not entail any danger. However, a strange sensation may arise, as if there is water inside the ear. How do I know if I have water in my ear? Sometimes, the spresence of fluid retained inside the ear is noticeable in an obvious way. On other occasions, a kind of ‘tamponade' is appreciated, which can affect hearing.
In any case, it is important to uncover the ear, both to avoid discomfort and the risk of infection or otitis that implies its prolonged presence. To do this, you have to try to remove it without damaging the ears. If you do not succeed or feel severe discomfort, go to the doctor to treat the problem. For mild discomfort, you can try some of the following tips from. on how to draw water from your ear.
Insert the tip of the towel
If you are wondering how to get water out of the ear, this is one of the simplest and most effective remedies. It consists of introducing the tip of a cloth, such as a clean cloth, a handkerchief or a towel. The idea is that the tissue, when in contact with the water in the ear, absorbs it, thus removing it. It is about introducing only the tip of the cloth, without pushing or squeezing, so as not to damage the ear canal.
Tilt your head
Undoubtedly, the first thing you have to do if water has entered your ear is to try to get it out due to gravity. Tilt your head to the right or left, depending on the ear you notice plugged. Repeat the movement several times, trying to get the water out by simple gravity. You can also try to make small jumps accompanying the turn of the head to make the movement even more effective.
Stretch the auditory pavilion
Unless you have extraordinary abilities, most of us cannot move our ears, something that would help eliminate any element that had been introduced into the ear. What we can do is ‘stretch' them with the help of our fingers. Grab the tip of your ear and gently pull up (vertically). Then, do the same but pulling it from the side (horizontal) area.
Repeat both gestures several times and then tilt your head to the side of the ear that bothers you. The movement may be able to mobilize the water until you manage to get it out.
Do an external massage
Putting gentle pressure on your ear can also help you achieve your goal. If you notice that you have entered water, massaged the lobe area while kept your head tilted to the right or left. Place your index finger behind the earlobe and place your ring finger in front, as if you were going to cover your ear. Move both fingers at once making gentle circular motions that will help draw out the water.
Dry with hair dryer
You can use the hair dryer to try to dry the air it gives off by drying the retained water, but always do it with due caution. Use the dryer at minimum temperature, only a few minutes and at a safe distance from the ear to avoid greater evils.
Try the Valsalva maneuver
Although the name does not sound like you, surely you have ever done it if you usually travel by plane, when, at takeoff or landing, the change in height and pressure causes the ears to plug. The maneuver consists of taking a deep breath and then trying to expel the air with your mouth closed and your nose covered. The effect of uncovering the ear is usually immediate and the same gesture could be effective to unclog the ears after swimming or taking a bath.
Sometimes, the water resists coming out, but it's just a matter of time. If the discomfort is bearable, try resting for a few hours, resting your head on a pillow over the side of the plugged ear. Maintaining that position for a long time, while you relax, can favor that the water comes out alone.
Make a suction cup with your hand
It's a little trick that can also work. Press the ear with the palm of your hand. Consecutively, separate your hand and press again, repeating the process at a steady pace. It is about creating an 'empty' effect, like the one achieved using a suction cup.
Opening your mouth and closing it again consecutively can help the water come out. Yawn a couple of times, then tilt your head to the affected side. In this way, yawning can mobilize water from the ear, which will come out when you tilt your head.
Eating something or moving the jaw, imitating the gesture we make when chewing, is a way to internally mobilize the middle ear area. This simple gesture can also give good results when it comes to drawing water from the ear.
Using isopropyl drops or sprays
If you are clear that the discomfort you suffer in the ear is due to the fact that you have retained water, consult with the pharmacist about the use of specific medications that can help expel it. The most common and effective are drops or sprays containing isopropyl alcohol. Before using them, prior consultation with the doctor is essential.
If after using these sprays the plugging continues, you should assess if, perhaps, it is because you have wax in your ear.
Put a warm compress
Placing a compress, previously moistened in hot water, on the ear can help to promote the dilation of the internal ducts, making it easier to get hold water out. You can try this remedy, as long as you do not feel pain in the ear.
What not to do to get water out of your ear
Whenever possible, try to prevent water from entering the ear. If you practice swimming or any other water sport that involves submerging your head, it is advisable to use specific plugs for this purpose. Even so, if the water finally ends up entering your ears, it is important to try to remove it, taking the utmost care not to damage the ear. To do this, keep in mind these tips on what not to do to remove water from one ear:
- Never introduce an object (forks, syringes) to try to extract the water, not even the classic swabs. Unintentionally, you could push the water even further into your middle ear or injure yourself.
- Also do not try to use disinfectant liquids on your own, such as hydrogen peroxide, sanitary alcohol, vinegar.
- Don't take medication without being told to do so by a doctor or pharmacist.
Now that you know how to get water out of the ear, if in addition to noticing the water you detect any type of discharge, pain, ringing, dizziness go to the specialist without delay since it could be an infection. To detect it, we recommend you to look at our article on What are the symptoms of an ear infection.