Anyone who swims a lot can attest to how annoying it is to constantly have water trapped in your ear canal. And it can be remarkably difficult to get out of there. These tips will help keep your hardest-to-reach places dry.
If you have water trapped in your ear for too long, you can develop an infection from bacteria in the water. If you swim in non-chlorinated bodies of water, you stand a higher risk of developing infections.
Tip one is to not put any objects in your ear to try to absorb the water, including cotton swabs. Q-tips are actually bad for you and can accidentally inflict damage on your ear canal’s lining.
To start, try tilting your head to the side and jiggling your earlobe. If this doesn’t work, try shaking your head gently. Don’t overdo it.
You can also attempt to create a vacuum to suck the water out of the canal. Tilt your head towards your shoulder and cup your palm tightly over your ear. Flatten your hand and then cup it again. This will create a vacuum effect that may be adequate to dislodge the water.
If that doesn’t work, try putting a warm compress on the ear. Soak a washcloth in warm water, wring out excess water and apply to the ear. Leave it on for thirty seconds, take it off for sixty, and repeat for four or five cycles. It might also help to lie down on the side of your body that corresponds with your problem ear.
None of this working? Take a blow dryer and put it on its lowest setting. Hold it about a foot from your head and point it at your ear. Turn it on and blow-dry your ear while shaking your earlobe. It might take a couple minutes, but the water will (hopefully) evaporate.
Make a solution of half alcohol, half vinegar and put it in an ear drop bottle. The vinegar protects you from bacteria and the alcohol accelerates evaporation. Put three or four drops in the ear, wait a couple minutes, and then tilt your head to let the water flow out.
Note: don’t use eardrops if you’ve already got an ear infection, ear tubes or a punctured eardrum.
A great way to prevent this problem from ever occurring is to wear ear plugs while you’re swimming. It’s also a good idea to use a towel to dry your ears right after you exit the water.