How to Get Water Out of Your Ear: A Complete Guide

How to Get Water out of Your Ear

Getting water out of your ear can be a common yet bothersome issue. One effective method is to tilt your head to the side, with the affected ear facing downward, and gently hop on one foot. This motion can help create a vibration that may dislodge the trapped water.

Alternatively, you can try the “Valsalva maneuver” by pinching your nostrils shut, closing your mouth, and gently exhaling, which can create pressure in your ear and force the water out. If these methods don’t work, you can try using a few drops of a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol to help evaporate the water.

Causes of Water in the Ear

Swimming and Water Activities

The primary culprit behind water in the ear is often swimming. Water can easily enter the ear canal, especially if you dive or spend a significant amount of time submerged. Additionally, water-related activities like surfing or water skiing may contribute to this common problem. Also, read about Understanding Right Lung Pain in Back

Improper Ear Cleaning Methods

Using cotton swabs or other objects to clean your ears can inadvertently push wax or debris deeper into the ear canal, creating a barrier that traps water. Understanding the causes helps in adopting preventive measures.

Symptoms of Water in the Ear

Recognizing the symptoms of water in the ear is crucial for prompt action.

how to get water out of your ear
how to get water out of your ear

Discomfort and Irritation

You might feel a sensation of fullness or discomfort in the affected ear. This can range from a mild annoyance to more pronounced discomfort.

Muffled Hearing

Water in the ear can temporarily affect your hearing, making sounds seem muffled or distorted.

Risk of Infections

Prolonged presence of water can create a damp environment ideal for bacteria and fungi, increasing the risk of ear infections.

Immediate Steps to Take

When you feel water in your ear, it’s essential to take immediate action to prevent complications.

Tilt and Shake Method

Tilt your head to the side, affected ear facing downward, and gently shake your head to encourage the water to drain out.

Yawning or Chewing

Opening your mouth wide through actions like yawning or chewing can help equalize the pressure in your ears, facilitating water drainage.

Gravity-Assisted Drainage

Lie on your side with the affected ear facing down, allowing gravity to assist in draining the water naturally. Discover more about Squeezing Blackheads

Ear Drops and Home Remedies

how to get water out of your ear
how to get water out of your ear

For persistent cases, consider using ear drops or trying simple home remedies.

Over-the-Counter Ear Drops

Specialized ear drops can help break down earwax or facilitate the removal of trapped water. These are available at most pharmacies.

DIY Solutions

Some people find success with at-home remedies like using warm olive oil or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. However, it’s crucial to be cautious and avoid these methods if you suspect an ear injury.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

In your attempt to remove water from your ear, avoid certain actions that could exacerbate the issue.

No Ear Swabs or Cotton Buds

Using cotton swabs or other objects to remove water can push it further into the ear canal or cause damage to the delicate ear structures.

Not Using Excessive Force

While it’s tempting to vigorously shake your head to get the water out, this can lead to injury or push the water deeper. Gentle, controlled movements are more effective.

Preventive Measures

Taking proactive steps can reduce the likelihood of water getting trapped in your ears.

Earplugs for Swimming

Investing in high-quality earplugs designed for swimming can create a barrier, preventing water from entering the ear canal.

Proper Ear Drying Techniques

After water activities, make sure to dry your ears thoroughly using a clean, dry towel or by tilting your head to let any remaining water escape.

When to Seek Medical Attention

In some cases, home remedies may not be sufficient, and it’s crucial to know when to consult a healthcare professional.

Persistent Discomfort

If you continue to experience discomfort or notice other symptoms like dizziness or hearing loss, seek medical advice promptly.

Signs of Infection

Redness, swelling, or drainage of pus from the ear may indicate an infection, requiring medical attention and possibly antibiotics.

Medical Procedures

For stubborn cases, medical procedures may be necessary.

Ear Irrigation by a Healthcare Professional

A healthcare provider can perform ear irrigation, a procedure involving the gentle flushing of the ear canal to remove stubborn blockages.

Prescription Ear Drops

In certain situations, prescription ear drops may be recommended to address underlying issues and prevent water retention.

Dealing with Recurring Issues

If you find yourself repeatedly facing water in the ear, it’s essential to address any underlying problems.

Identifying Underlying Problems

Consult with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to identify any anatomical or structural issues contributing to recurrent water retention.

Consultation with an ENT Specialist

A professional evaluation can help determine the best course of action for preventing future occurrences.


Q. How long can water stay in the ear?

A. The duration water stays in the ear varies, but it’s advisable to address it promptly. If water persists for more than 24 hours or if you experience discomfort, seek solutions.

Q. Can I use a hairdryer to remove water from my ear?

A. While using a hairdryer on a low, cool setting may help, it’s crucial to maintain a safe distance to avoid causing injury. Never use high heat directly into the ear.

Q. Is it normal for water to get trapped in the ear?

A. Occasional water trapping is common, especially after swimming. However, persistent issues may indicate an underlying problem, necessitating medical attention.

Q. Can earwax contribute to water blockage?

A. Yes, excess earwax can create a barrier, trapping water in the ear. Using ear drops or seeking professional help can aid in both issues.

Q. What should I do if my ear feels clogged after swimming?

A. Try the tilt and shake method or other home remedies. If the sensation persists or is accompanied by symptoms like pain or hearing loss, consult a healthcare professional.

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