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How to Get Water Out of Your Ear

by Emma Watson
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Getting water trapped in your ear is a common yet often frustrating experience, especially after swimming or showering. Not only can it feel uncomfortable, but if left unaddressed, it may lead to infections or even damage. Fortunately, there are several safe and effective methods to remove water from your ear. This comprehensive guide explores various techniques and preventive measures to help you deal with this issue efficiently, ensuring your ears remain healthy and dry.

Understanding the Issue

When water gets stuck in your ear canal, it can create a sensation of fullness, along with muffled sounds and discomfort. In some cases, it might even lead to swimmer’s ear—a painful condition characterized by inflammation, infection, and redness. Therefore, knowing how to promptly and safely get water out of your ear is crucial.

Immediate Techniques for Water Removal

Several immediate techniques can be employed to get water out of your ear safely. These methods are simple and can be performed almost anywhere, using minimal or no equipment.

Gravity and Positioning

  • Tilt Your Head: Start by tilting your head towards the affected side and gently pulling on your earlobe. This action can help straighten the ear canal, allowing the water to drain out more easily.
  • Jumping and Shaking: With your head tilted, you can also try jumping or gently shaking your head. The force generated by these movements might be enough to dislodge the water.

Creating a Vacuum

  • Cupped Palm Technique: Place your cupped palm tightly over the affected ear and gently push back and forth towards your head in a rapid motion. This method can create a suction effect that may help dislodge the trapped water.
  • Using a Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress for about 30 seconds to the affected ear, followed by the tilting of your head, can help vaporize and release the trapped water.

Utilizing Evaporation

  • Blow Dryer Method: Using a blow dryer on its lowest setting and keeping it at a safe distance from your ear (at least a foot away) can help evaporate the trapped water. Ensure to move the dryer back and forth and not directly into the ear canal to prevent burns.
  • Evaporating Drops: Over-the-counter drops specifically designed for removing water from ears can also be effective. These often contain alcohol that helps quickly evaporate the water. However, they should be avoided if you have ear wounds or eardrum issues.

Preventative Measures

While knowing how to get water out of your ear is valuable, preventing water from getting trapped in the first place is equally important. Here are some preventative measures:

  • Use of Earplugs: Wearing earplugs while swimming or showering can significantly reduce the risk of water entering your ear canals.
  • Swimming Caps: A tight-fitting swimming cap that covers your ears can also help prevent water from getting trapped.
  • Proper Ear Cleaning: Avoid inserting objects into your ears, such as cotton swabs, as they can push wax further into the ear canal, creating blockages that make it easier for water to get trapped.

When to Seek Medical Attention

In most cases, water in the ear can be safely removed using the methods described above. However, if you experience persistent discomfort, pain, or signs of infection (such as redness, swelling, or discharge), it’s crucial to seek medical attention. Additionally, if you have an existing ear condition, such as a perforated eardrum, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional before attempting to remove water from your ear.


Getting water trapped in your ear can be an annoying and potentially harmful situation. However, with the right knowledge and techniques, you can effectively remove water from your ear and take preventive measures to avoid future occurrences. Whether employing immediate techniques like tilting and jumping or utilizing tools like earplugs and swimming caps, the key is to act promptly and safely. Remember, if you experience prolonged discomfort or signs of infection, seeking medical advice is always the best course of action. With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to handle and prevent water from getting trapped in your ear, ensuring your ear health is maintained.

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