8 Ways to Remove Trapped Water from your Ear


Trapped water in ear, no doubt, is one of life’s discomforts. I need not ask who has experienced “trapped water in ear” for we all have experienced it one way or the other and from time to time. And we can attest it’s not a nice experience.

Signs of water in your ear canals include sounds that appear muffled and a plugged-up feeling in the ears. You might also experience ear pain, loss of balance and coordination, ringing in the ears, runny nose and sore throat.

Unless properly removed, trapped water can lead to swimmer’s ear, surfer’s ear and other conditions that may cause painful infection and even total hearing loss if care is not taken. I suppose that doesn’t sound funny at all!

To remove trapped water from your ears after a swim or shower, try the following techniques.

1. Add more Water Technique

This technique may sound irrational, but trust me, it’s very effective. Lying on your side, fill the affected ear with water using a clean dropper. Wait 5 seconds and then turn over, with the affected ear facing down. All of the water should drain out.

2. The Gravity/Jiggling Technique

Take advantage of gravity by lying on the ground with your affected ear facing down; tilting your head and jiggling your earlobe should free any trapped water. Cotton bud can help speed up the process.

3. The Valsalva Maneuver Technique

Scuba divers and airline travelers are familiar with this technique. Close your mouth, plug your nose and blow it using modest pressure. This should help equalize the pressure in your ears and therefore drain the trapped water.

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4. The Vacuum Technique

Create a vacuum by simply placing your palm over the plugged-up ear and pressing down softly for few seconds. This will create a suction effect that will help loosen and drain trapped water.

5. The Hairdryer Technique

You can use a hairdryer to help dry out water trapped in your ear. Turn it on to the low heat setting and aim it at your ear from a safe distance – a foot away. Even if you don’t get it all, the rest should drain within a few minutes.

6. The Pulling Technique

Pull back on the outer portion (concha) of your ear by reaching around behind your head and giving it a tug. This straightens out the ear canal so that trapped water has an easy drainage path.

7. The Chew and Yawn Technique

Chewing gum and yawning are often effective ways to remove trapped water from your ears. Movement of the mouth relieves pressure in the Eustachian tubes, freeing trapped water. Try shaking your head afterward if you still feel water in there.

8. The Chemical Technique

If these techniques don’t work, there are always over-the-counter ear drops designed to remove moisture from your canals. Look for alcohol-based products for best results.

Audiologists recommend you wear swim plugs or a swim cap when going swimming.

Always dry your ears thoroughly after exposing them to water. If you are plagued by ear pain or pressure after you’ve spent time in the water and are unable to get it to drain with the above techniques, please, schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor.

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Originally posted on 13/03/2021 @ 2:37 PM


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