If there’s one downside to swimming, it’s the fact that you get water into your ears! There are few things more annoying than getting out of the pool, lake, or ocean with that feeling of water in your ear. Try as you might, you just can’t ignore the feeling.
Perhaps you try to clean your ears out with a cotton swab, but that only makes things worse. You worry about sleeping for fear that a proper clog will form and you’ll wake up half-deaf in one or both ears.
Sound familiar? It’s a problem we’ve all faced when swimming, which is why so many people use earplugs when in the pool. But what about getting water in your ears while showering? Surely you can’t be expected to wear earplugs to shower every day? So how do you deal with water in your ears after you shower?
Getting water out of your ears is never easy, but thankfully we’ve got the answers for you! We’ll help you understand why water gets trapped in your ears, and why it’s such a bad thing. Best of all, we’ll show you the best and safest ways to get water out of your ears.
How to Get Water out of Your Ears: Why Water Gets Trapped
The human ear is a truly marvelous mechanism. It’s designed to be self-protecting and self-cleaning. It produces ear wax as a means of protecting itself from bacteria, dust, and insects.
The ear naturally carries wax outward like a conveyor belt, where the wax ultimately falls out from the ear canal on its own, removing any foreign objects or debris from your ears. It even coats your ear canal with a waterproof lining that can protect it from infection and irritation.
However, the ear isn’t perfect. While it is designed to allow water to flow out, there are times when water can get too deep for your ear to flush it out properly. The water essentially gets trapped in your ear canal, and that’s when problems set in…
How to Get Water out of Your Ears: The Dangers of Having Water Trapped in Your Ears
If you get water trapped in your ears after a bath, shower, or swim, you will usually notice a tickling irritation that makes you want to scratch your ears. RESIST the urge to do so! Scratching your ear (with a finger or cotton swab) won’t get the water out, but it will introduce more bacteria, germs, and dirt.
There is also a very high risk that you will scratch the sensitive skin of your ear canal (if you use a cotton swab, bobby pin, or other slim, sharp object), which will only increase your chances of infection. Worst of all, the water will still be trapped in your ear!
Is it dangerous to have water trapped in your ears? Aside from the irritation and “plugged up” feeling, is there any real reason for getting water out of your ear? Absolutely!
You see, almost all water we come in contact with contains bacteria and in certain cases when the sensitive skin of the ear canal is exposed to this bacteria in our water sources, an ear infection can result. This is why “Swimmer’s Ear” is the name of one of the most common ear infections.
There are other side effects of getting water trapped in your ears, such as pain, reduced hearing, swelling in the ear canal, dizziness, jaw pain, vertigo, crackling or ringing in your ears, and pressure in the ear canal. All of these symptoms are an indication that there is something wrong in your ears – a problem you need to deal with A.S.A.P.!!
So, you may be wondering, “Why is getting water out of your ear so important?” The answer is simple: it’s to prevent infections and keep your ears and body healthy!
How to Get Water out of Your Ears the Easy Way
Now you know WHY you need to get rid of any water in your ears, so it’s time to look at HOW to remove water from your ears. Don’t worry; it’s not as hard as you might think!
Below, you’ll find a few of the best ways to get water out of your ear. Most of them can be done with items you have around the house, though there are a few remedies that may require a few extra purchases. Try these remedies and see which works best for you:
Prevent the Problem
You know the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. The best way to get water out of your ears is to KEEP it out of your ears in the first place! How can you do that?
- To Ear Plugs
Instead of trying to figure out how to get water out of your ears after swimming, just use a pair of earplugs any time you swim. The earplugs will seal off your ear canals and keep any water from leaking in. This works for a bath as well!
- Swim or Shower Cap
If your ear canals are very sensitive to having anything in them or you’re just looking for an alternative to earplugs, a swim cap or shower cap pulled over your ears can protect against water entering the ear canal too.
Want to know how to remove water from your ears the quick and easy way?
There are a few physical methods that can work wonders! Immediately after stepping out of the pool, lake, bathtub, ocean, or shower, here are a few things to do to get rid of water from your ear
- Tilt your head
Tilt your head to the side to allow the water to flow out. Try hopping or shaking your head if the water doesn’t drain right away. If that still doesn’t work, hit the opposite side of your head with your palm.
The movement of your jaw is often enough to “pop” the clog in your ear. Pull on your earlobe as you yawn.
- Lie down on your side
Gravity will help your ear to drain the water. Just make sure to put down a towel so you don’t soak your pillow.
Chewing gum is similar to yawning, but the repeated motion of your jaw will help to drain the water from your ear. If you’ve got a bit of water in your ears, pop a stick of gum. Make it xylitol gum to double the effectiveness!
Studies from Finland discovered that xylitol helps to reduce the risk of ear infections. It does so by curbing the growth and spread of bacteria.
Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol
This simple ear-drop remedy is often enough to get rid of the water!
Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar with a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Fill an ear-dropper with the liquid, and squeeze a few drops of this solution into your ear. (Note: No more than 3 or 4 drops should do it!)
The solution will help to kill off the bacteria in your ear, reducing your risk of infections. As a bonus, the alcohol will also dry out the water. Using this solution is often more than enough to prevent moisture from building up in your ear. Swimmers often use it to prevent swimmer’s ear.
Garlic and Olive Oil
Not sure how to get water out of your ear after swimming? If you’ve tried some of these remedies and they’re not getting rid of the water, use olive oil and garlic to protect your ear from infections. Garlic is a potent antibacterial, and olive oil is packed with immune-boosting antioxidants that can soothe any irritation or inflammation.
Crush a clove of garlic into a pan, and pour in olive oil. Warm the oil, stirring to ensure it heats evenly and extracts the garlic oils. Turn off the pan before the oil gets too hot. Once it’s cool, use an ear dropper to put a few drops of the garlic oil into your ear.
If you want to be 100% certain the water trapped in your ear doesn’t cause an infection, it’s a good idea to try eardrops.
You can find a number of OTC ear drops at your pharmacy, and they’ll protect your ear from infections and reduce moisture. They’re a cheap solution that will do the job very efficiently.
Don’t know how to remove water from the ear? Don’t bother! Use a blow-dryer and blow the water dry. Set the dryer on the lowest heat setting, and hold it a few inches from your ear.
Tug on your ear to get the best angle for the air to enter your ear canal and the warm/hot air will dry the water. Be careful not to scorch your ear!
Heat will help to soften ear wax, making it easy for the water to flow out of your ear. Just like you’d use steam to clear a stuffed nose, you can use it for your ears.
Boil a pot of water, cover it with a towel, and place your head under the towel. After 10 minutes or so, tilt your head and you’ll find the water will usually drip out of your ear.
You can also dip a cloth in hot/warm water, and press the wet cloth against your ear. The steam will fill your ear canal and soften any ear wax. When you tilt your head to the side, the water will usually leak out all on its own.
The Oto-Tip is a simple device to use to clean your ears. The soft tip will pull wax from your ear canal, preventing water from getting trapped. After a good cleaning, the water will often flow right out.
The Oto-Tip is safe for at-home use, and there is no risk of damaging your inner ears or pushing the wax further back – reducing your risk of impacted ear wax.
You know what happens if you get water trapped in your ears, so it’s in your best interest to figure out how to get water out of your ear after swimming, showering, or bathing. These simple remedies will work wonders to get rid of any water.
They’re easy to try and 100% safe, and they’ll help you keep your ear free of any infections or irritation from the water.