What to do if water gets in your ear?

If you feel that water has got in your ear, then try to get rid of the water as soon as possible. It is important.

Why is water in the ear dangerous?

Water can cause temporary hearing damage and discomfort, albeit temporary. But this is not the worst thing.

Moisture can be an ideal environment for the development of bacteria, including infection. Inflammatory processes can be the result of their reproduction.

It will take literally about five minutes to get rid of the fluid in most cases.

What to do if water gets into your ear?

These methods can be used both individually and sequentially.

  1. Wipe with a soft towel or tissue
    Just wipe it off! No need to stick tissue into the canal.
  2. Tilt the head with the affected ear towards the shoulder
    This will help the excess water drain out of their ear.
  3. Gently tug on the earlobe
    This will straighten your ear canal and make it easier for moisture to escape. This method is more effective if you tilt your head with your ear to your shoulder.
  4. Press with the palm of your hand several times.
    This will create a vacuum that will push the water out. Remember to tilt your head to your shoulder.
  5. Use a warm compress
    It can be a heating pad with 40-50 °C water or a towel soaked in liquid of the same temperature. Press the heated pad for 30 seconds, then remove for a minute. Do 4-5 sets. In this case, you must lie down with the effected ear down. Changing temperatures will help the water flow out.
  6. Use a hairdryer
    Set it to the lowest warm setting and start blowing the ear to evaporate the moisture. Keep the hair dryer at least 30cm away. Remember to pull your earlobe down as you dry. It will be more efficient this way.

What not to do if water gets into your ear?


This can damage the canal and cause wax plugs.

  1. Clean with cotton swabs
    Of course, cotton wool absorbs excess liquid. But with a stick, you collect earwax swollen from moisture into one lump. It can block the canal by blocking some of the water inside the ear.

Plus, by irritating sensitive skin, you can produce more wax, which makes matters worse.

  1. Trying to clean your ear with your fingers
    An even more harmful option than the previous one. The fingers do not absorb water at all. In addition, the nail can scratch the skin in the canal and cause infection.
  2. Put something in the ear if you are not sure that the eardrum is intact

Sometimes, unnecessary attempts to clear the ear with a stick or finger will rupture the eardrum. This is usually accompanied by severe pain. But it can be confused with pain that appears due to the pressure.

If you are not sure what exactly triggered the discomfort, do not fill the canal with any drops. Fluid can enter through lesions in the eardrum and cause otitis media and even hearing loss.

  1. Can’t tolerate congestion
    Seek help from an otolaryngologist if the congestion persists within 1-2 days. It is quite possible that you have an inflammatory process. It is important to prevent its development.

Photo by Anna Elizabeth

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