How dangerous can it be to have water trapped in your ear canals? What are some of the symptoms you expect amongst adults or children? Is your focus on treatments or how to get water out of your ear and make sure it clears? There are a good number of methods to remove water from ear some of which comprise home remedies. Get insightful tips and procedures to cure and save your ears blocked with water from infections after swimming, taking a bath or shower.
Symptoms and side effects
Let us briefly look at some common symptoms related to water in the ear whether it is in babies and children or adults.
1. Ear pressure
One common effect anyone can feel with an ear blocked with water is lack of pressure balance between inner and outer ear particularly if one is affected. A mild hearing loss and dizziness usually go with pressure. Other terms used in defining pressure in the ear are stuffiness and ear fullness.
After water gets in your ears a tickling sensation may result. That is well expressed by the desire to insert an object or finger to scratch inside it.
3. Reduced hearing
Thirdly, the presence of water may lead to a reduced ability to hear things clearly as articulated. Sound waves are blocked and receive resistance from free transmission through the canal to the eardrums. Some individuals who produce more cerumen or earwax are more liable to earplugging. If this occurs, they tend to create feeling “fullness” in their outer ear.
As a sign of trapped fluids in the ear, this symptom is usually experienced after such fluids (inclusively water) stays for longer durations without being removed. Characterized by continuous ‘mosquito’ noise and humming, this symptom can intensify if you walk nearer to noisy environments with high sounding machines.
If this water is not removed, many people seem to ignore it a light matter. Certain side effects may arise including partial hearing loss, inflamed eardrums, and formation of cysts in the canal. According to NHS choices, regularly getting water in your ear can increase risks of developing otitis externa.
How to remove water from the ear
What urges many people to get water out are discomfort effects and nagging symptoms. How do you remove water in the ear after swimming? Is it important to relieve ears blocked with water? You have no reason to ignore an opportunity to get information and learn solution for fluids stuck in the ear. We will later look at home prevent otitis externa.
1. OTC cure or eardrops
Over the counter, drops can help remove water. Add a few ear drops. After a duration of 10 – 12 minutes, lie in a tilted position allow it drain out. Before you use this method, kindly ask your pharmacist for side effects of alcohol since most of the OTC these drops contain alcohol.
2. Rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is quite effective (cure and remedy) only if you fulfill certain conditions. Alcohol evaporates faster than most fluid including water. Get assistance from an adult to use a dropper. Tilt your head to allow excess water drain out. However, you must be sure that you have no perforations, injuries, punctures or holes in your eardrums.
For additional health benefits, you can prepare a solution by adding equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. While vinegar prevents ear infections by killing germs. This approach will also ensure that earwax (cerumen) is broken down to enhance drainage. (Earwax can substantially hold back moisture or water).
Never try this method if you recently had an ear surgery. Also, avoid using alcohol in small children who have this problem. Seek medical help for an appropriate water removal. For further assistance, see an otolaryngologist to check for the condition of your eardrums.
3. Hydrogen peroxide
Another optional but effective cure for water in the canal. “Hydrogen peroxide can easily remove the trapped fluid, along with earwax and other debris.” [livestrong.com]. It has an effervescent property (ability to foam or cause fizzing in water solutions).
This household substance can also be used to remove excess wax to prevent its build-up and ear plugging. Unfortunately, severe infections and sensitive skin are limitations of using hydrogen peroxide.
4. Heat Compress or therapy
If you accidentally get fluid in ear including water, this home remedy should be great for you. A good reason for adopting this method comes with the mechanism of heat preventing a build-up of fluids. The other reason being to enhance opening up of Eustachian tube to try striking balance and expelling water off the canal.
The process is simple and friendly to both children and adults.
- Boil some water and place in a bowl.
- Dip a clean and soft washcloth (soft baby towel) in the hot water for 10 seconds. Ensure the towel temperature is not so high to get you burnt.
- Bend forward and apply it gently on the affected ear. (Leave it on for roughly 30 seconds to allow heat radiation penetrate but do not let it drain)
- Do step 3 if the warm feeling subsides.
- Repeat at least five times for both in that case.
- Finally, lie on your side to allow for drainage.
5. Blow dry them
Warm dry air or heat from a blow dryer is sufficient to enhance moisture and water trapped to evaporate. This remedy should be done by two people but you can do it yourself.
- Switch your blow dryer on to warm then hold it 15 cm away.
- Let the dryer blow directly into the affected ear for about 30 – 45 seconds.
- You can repeat this if it is necessary or feels.
There are specific automated devices to do the similar task. An example is Mack’s ear dryer which is portable and flexible for family use. Learn more about how and where to acquire it from www.macksearplugs.com website if you are interested.
More tips for water-plugged ears
You can make good use of these tips to get rid of water stuck in your ear canal.
6. Apply a Suction
If you have water this issue after a shower apply simple suction.
- Lower your upper body forward.
- Place your palm against the affected ear and then apply pressure.
- Tilt your head such that the blocked side faces down.
- Snub your hand at once. Repeat this procedure until the water is let out since it relies on the force of gravity.
7. Add more water
Ideally, this trick sounds weird. But practically this is a simple remedy and helpful tip to get rid of excess water (esp. after swimming.) This is all you need to do to relieve pressure discomforts
Cleanse a dropper and suck clean water. Ask any adult person next to you to press and add more into the affected ear. Count up to 5 seconds and then face down. Ensure the water is at your body temperature to avoid feeling dizzy.
8. Lay down or go to sleep
Sometimes water may get into ears and feel they are clogged. In this case, you can opt to lay in your bed or any other similar structure with your ear facing down. It is suggested that a pillow is used to get a tilting position. Above all, be patient enough. This works best if you have gone to bed.
9. Try the Valsalva movements
These movements enable the Eustachian tubes in either ear to open or close. In turn, this slightly increases pressure and volume necessary to push more water out behind eardrums. Do not blow too hard to risk damaging your eardrums.
- Take a deep breathe then momentarily close both nose and mouth.
- While you keep your nose “shut with your hand” try blowing air out through the nose.
- You should be able to hear some popping if it is done appropriately.
10. Head-sideway tilts
To go on, the moment water fills canals (say while swimming in a pool), get out immediately. Begin by making a series of movements that involve tilting your head towards the shoulders on either side. If there is no effect, add more force by jumping up in quick and short successions. Remember to keep your head in slightly bent over the shoulders.
11. Yawn or chew
At times you may find a bubble of water stuck in the ear canal after a short shower or bath. Chewing some gum can dislodge it. Alternatively, involve your jaws in movements as though one who is chewing or yawning.
After swimming and removal methods
Amongst common reasons why water gets trapped in the ears, swimming as a fun or leisure is another. The main disadvantage of staying with water for longer durations is that it may cause bacterial infections. Other symptoms include itchy feeling, partial or reduced hearing, discomfort brought by pressure differences in canal among others.
What of swimmer’s ear or otitis externa
One of the resulting effects associated with swimming is a condition known as otitis externa. Additionally, any individual living in areas with high humidity can equally get otitis externa regardless of age. According to WebMD Health News swimmer’s ear affects “about one in every 100 – 250 Americans each year and is caused by water trapped in the ear canal.” [webmd.com]
Use of antibiotic drops is the best for otitis externa after clogging. However, experts discourage use of oral antibiotic pills for swimmer’s eardrops. Read further on Avoid Antibiotics in Pill Form for ‘Swimmer’s Ear advice provided by WebMD.
When you have it, as merckmanuals.com “patients have pain and drainage. Sometimes, a foul-smelling discharge and hearing loss occur if the canal becomes swollen or filled with purulent debris”.
I am sure you have many questions such as how long can otitis externa symptoms last? Symptoms may persist if you have a severe infection. It is anticipated that this problem should clear after an approximately 48-hours of continued use of the eardrops for water removal. We will cover more details on this problem in a different post.
Removal from swimming
How do you deal with water in the ear canal after enjoying your swimming? Leaving water to stay in the inside is potentially a threat as we have seen. The following are some of the products and treatment of water in the ear. We shall also see more remedies to help remove water from eras after swimming shortly after this section.
One method of removing water in your ear is the use of drops. In particular, ear drying drops are product solutions that contain isopropyl, acetic acid, and glycerin. All solutions and drops components are safe and have been approved by FDA for ear-water related problems.
Most drops are locally available in pharmacist shops and over the counter. Just like other treatments for infections, these drops are specially made relieve symptoms associated with clogging, itching and unnecessary ear pressure tension. Besides, its mechanisms assures victims prevention action against microbial (e.g. infectious bacteria) growth and multiplication.
Examples include drops found in drug stores and OTCs include Swim Ear-Water Drying Aid Drops, Auro-Dri, Swim Ear, Star-Otic, etc.
Get absorbant or absorbing earplugs
As the terms suggest these products quickly relieve symptoms and have a good drying-out factor to prevent ear discomfort. Before you decide to buy any of them it is important to know or acquire alcohol-free earplugs.
Here are examples of common absorbing plugs sold by various product vendors and online sellers.
- ClearEars Water Absorbing Plugs,
- Clearers Water Absorb Earplugs,
- AfterSwim Water Removal,
Lastly, individuals may use any methods or equipment to aid drying and keeping ears moisture-free so long as there is no irritation or inflammation resulting afterward.
When to see a specialist
If the above treatments and home remedies have all failed to get the results, do not panic or get stuck. Sometimes fluids get deeper into the middle ear. When this happens, the Eustachian tube becomes blocked or may close. Certain behavior leads to water behind eardrum like drinking fluids while lying on the back. Furthermore, New Health Advisor informs that fluids can remain trapped in the middle part after treatment of ear infections.
Going for checkup is a sure way to discover your problem. Visit an ENT or a specialist to help remove for you. Any form of trapped fluid in the middle ear (behind the eardrum) should be left for a professional treatment only.
What to avoid and prevent water getting in the ear
Instead of waiting for water to get into your ears, take caution. Water getting into inside may be causing more harm. Some of the ways of avoiding or stopping water from getting into your them include the following:
- Prioritize in ear protection for swimming to prevent water entry. At least, swimmers and divers should consider to put on bathing caps or wetsuit hood.
- Be careful not to ingest alcohol especially when attending to young individuals. Otherwise never allow small children use alcohol in removing water from ears.
- Avoid earphones and headphones until the symptoms have cleared to prevent infections and other complications.
- Avoid swimming in public pools unless they are regularly replenished.
- Clean ears daily but avoid excessive cleaning.
- Do not insert any objects or materials such as sticks, cotton swabs, earplugs, etc. in the name of cleaning. This is dangerous as cerumen, debris matter can get deeper into the canal. If not so, it could cause rubbing and scratching on the skin in your canal which is a threat for infections, pain or irritation.
Reference and Citations