Being able to enjoy watersports is great fun, although sometimes you can get water trapped in your ear which can be irritating. So what are the ways to get rid of water out of your ear?

Many different unpleasant feelings can come from water being stuck inside your ear canal. From pressure to tingling or hearing loss, stuck water can affect both ears.

It’s not always a huge problem to get water out of your ears, but at times it can be a bit more difficult and even cause issues. It can be a good idea to dry out your ears completely whenever you’ve been in contact with water, to prevent bacterial infection. It’s not something to worry over though, as these methods are a goodway to get rid of water from your ear if it is persistent.

Is it dangerous when water is trapped in your ears?

Usually, it isn’t a problem when you get water in your ear. Partly because the natural earwax inside your ear will repel water. This means that any water that’s inside your ear will come out on its own. Though, if this doesn’t happen, you can start to have problems with bacterial overgrowth inside the ear. This is called ‘swimmer’s ear’ or otitis externa.

The ideal conditions for bacteria are moist and warm locations. When the bacteria find this, an infection can quickly grow out of hand. If you’re not sure whether you have an ear infection, common symptoms are:

– Pain in the ear canal

– Itchy ear canal

– Odourless clear fluid coming from your ear

If you notice these symptoms, don’t hesitate to get medical advice. As you could have an ear infection. Furthermore, water that has been in your ear for days and even weeks should be talked about with your GP.

How to get trapped water out of your ears

If you find yourself with water trapped inside your ears, here are some helpful techniques that may be able to help you. If you’re unable to get the water out and you’re worried, get medical advice.

1. Tilting your ear: This is a simple method to get water out of your ears. Simply move your head onto its side using a tilting motion. The water should come out shortly after.

2. Pull your earlobe: If you were not successful with the former method, you can try repeatedly and softly, pulling your earlobe with your head tilted to the side you’re pulling. To help, you can move your head with a shaking motion to get the water out as well.

3. Lie down on one side: Sometimes the complete lack of motion can help get the water out with just gravity. If you lie on your side, you may start to find that the water will come out on its own.

4. Using a vacuum: If you can correctly execute this method, you can extract the water from your ear using a vacuum. Whilst your head is tilted to the side, cup your hand to your ear to create an air seal. You’ll know when you’ve achieved this as there will be a pressure feeling. Pull your hand away and you should feel the movement of the water inside your ear. The water should come out whilst your head is still tilted.

5. Using a hairdryer: You can always try using a hairdryer to help dislodge the water stuck in your ear. It’s important to use a lower setting as well as hold the hairdryer around 30cm from your ear. You can use this technique in combination with the ‘Pull your earlobe’ method to try and dislodge the water from your ear.

6. Alcohol-based eardrops: If nothing has worked so far, you can go to a local pharmacy to purchase alcohol-based eardrops. Make sure you follow any instructions that come with the eardrops. Alcohol eardrops work in a two-fold way:

– The alcohol can cause some of the water to evaporate in your ear, relieving your problem.

– Alcohol also kills bacteria, so alcohol eardrops can help prevent ear infections.

7. Homemade alcohol eardrops: If you want to concoct this treatment yourself, only use a few drops in your ear. Let them settle for up to a minute before letting the liquid come out. Refrain from using alcohol eardrops if you’ve got an infection in your ear, a perforated eardrum or eardrum tubes.

8. Hydrogen peroxide eardrops: This treatment is excellent at dissolving earwax which could be keeping water trapped in your ear. You can buy hydrogen peroxide eardrops at a pharmacy in-store or online. It is best to only use these eardrops when you do not have any infections or conditions present in your ears.

9. Olive oil: You can gently warm a small amount of olive oil to drop into your ear. Put 1-5 drops into your ear, if you are not already, you should lie on your side for up to 15 mins to let the oil soak into your ear canal. Let the liquid drip out after the time is up.

What shouldn’t you do when trying to get water out of your ears?

Putting objects like cotton buds into your ears is not a good idea. This is because whatever is causing the problem (wax, fluid) could be pushed further into your ear. There is also the chance of bringing bacteria from the cotton bud into your ear canal.


If there is water in your eustachian tubes, you can try yawning to get rid of it. Yawning will help to widen the eustachian tubes, allowing fluid to drain away.


You can try a steam bath for your ear, as it can help water exit from the ear canal. By taking a hot shower, you can allow steam to penetrate your ear. This will help fluid to come out. Make sure to inhale the steam, if you can.

How to prevent water from getting into your ears

Whenever you want to enjoy being in the water, you can employ a few methods to help reduce the water left over in your ears.

– Try earplugs meant for swimming, these create a barrier between your ear and the water, preventing water from coming in

– You can also reduce bacterial growth by cleaning your ears after being in the water.

When should you seek medical help?

Most commonly, having water inside your ears isn’t something to worry about. However, if you think you may have an ear infection or have had water trapped in your ear for a long while, get medical advice. It doesn’t hurt to talk to your doctor if the tips in this article didn’t work.

Not sure what to do about water stuck in your ears? Contact them or visit their website.

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Company Name: Deeside Ear Care
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Phone: 07513 821587
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City: Aberdeen AB15 4YD
State: Scotland
Country: United Kingdom

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