How to get water out of your ear?


Want to know how to get water out of your ear? Well, you have landed on the right article.

Swimming serves as an excellent way to stay fit and cool down, especially during the summer months. However, if you’ve ever experienced a sloshing or tickling sensation, or felt pressure in your ears after swimming, it’s likely that water has become trapped inside.

There are various reasons why water may get trapped, such as having a narrow ear canal or an excess buildup of earwax. Whenever you submerge yourself underwater, there’s a possibility of water getting stuck in your ears. Normally, water will naturally drain out of your ears, but if it fails to do so, it can lead to complications.

“When water fails to trickle out on its own, there’s a risk of developing swimmer’s ear, which is an ear infection affecting the outer ear canal or the opening of the ear leading to the eardrum,” explained Dr. Heather Coffman, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. Swimmer’s ear symptoms can encompass ear pain, impaired balance, coordination issues, tinnitus, a sore throat, and possible hearing impairment.

Having water in your ears is undoubtedly unpleasant, and it’s important to take preventive measures to avoid complications. Dr. Coffman suggests the following techniques to prevent water from remaining trapped in your ears and causing issues.

How to get water out of your ear?

Getting water out of your ear can be uncomfortable, but several methods can help. Tilt your head and hop on one foot to encourage water to drain naturally. Gently tugging on the earlobe and tilting your head can also work. Using gravity, you can lie on your side with the affected ear facing down and let gravity assist in draining the water. Applying heat with a warm compress can help evaporate trapped water. Alternatively, creating a vacuum by cupping your hand over the ear and pressing it gently can release the water. Commercial ear drops, a mixture of alcohol and vinegar, can also aid drying. Avoid inserting objects into the ear, as this can push the water deeper or cause damage. If discomfort persists or signs of infection occur, consult a healthcare professional.

Effective Techniques to Remove Water from Your Ears

Utilise time and gravity 

Lie on your side with the affected ear facing down and place a towel under your head to absorb the water. Allow gravity to assist in the natural drainage of water from your ear.

Consider rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide 

These substances can help evaporate moisture from the ear canal. However, exercise caution and avoid using alcohol drops if you have a perforated eardrum, as it can cause intense pain and may be toxic to the ear. Refer to the article “How to Properly Use Ear Drops” for guidance and recommendations.

Employ a hairdryer 

Gently pull down on your ear to straighten the ear canal, then use a hairdryer on the cool setting to dry out the ear.

Engage in jaw movements

Chew, yawn, shake your head, and gently tug on the outer part of your ear. These actions can help mobilise the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is connected to the ear canal, facilitating water drainage.

Avoid inserting objects into your ear

Resist the temptation to use your finger, cotton swabs, or other items to remove water. These actions can push obstructions deeper into the ear canal, potentially puncture the eardrum, and remove the protective layer of earwax, creating an environment for bacterial growth.

Preventing Water from Entering Your Ears

Use swim plugs or a swim cap: Consider wearing specialised swim plugs or a snug-fitting swim cap to create a barrier and prevent water from entering your ears while swimming.

Dry your ears thoroughly: After swimming, make sure to dry your ears completely using a towel. Gently pat the outer ear and the area around the ear canal to remove any moisture.

When to see your doctor?

Usually, trapped water in the ears tends to resolve on its own without the need for treatment. However, if you experience discomfort, you can try these home remedies to alleviate the symptoms. Nonetheless, if the water remains trapped for 2 to 3 days or if you exhibit signs of infection, it is essential to seek medical attention.

In cases where your ear becomes swollen or inflamed, it could indicate the development of an ear infection. It is crucial to treat an ear infection promptly to prevent potential complications like hearing loss or damage to the cartilage and bones.

Consulting a doctor is advisable in such situations, as they can prescribe appropriate medications to eliminate the infection and provide relief from pain.

By seeking medical assistance when necessary, you can ensure proper care and management of any complications associated with trapped water or ear infections.


In conclusion, knowing how to get water out of your ear is essential for preventing discomfort and potential complications. The methods outlined offer effective solutions to safely remove trapped water. Utilizing gravity, applying heat, creating a vacuum, or using alcohol and vinegar drops can help dislodge water and promote drainage. However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid inserting objects into the ear canal, as this can cause damage. If water remains trapped or if you experience pain, hearing loss, or signs of infection, seeking medical attention is advisable. Taking swift action to address trapped water not only prevents discomfort but also ensures the health and well-being of your ears.


Q1: How long does it take for trapped water in the ears to go away naturally?

Ans: Trapped water typically resolves on its own within a few hours to a couple of days.

Q2: What should I do if water remains trapped in my ears after several days?

Ans: If water persists in your ears for more than 2 to 3 days, seek medical attention.

Q3: What are the signs of an ear infection?

Ans: Signs of an ear infection may include ear pain, swelling, inflammation, and possible drainage from the ear.

Q4: What are the potential complications of an untreated swimmer’s ear?

Ans: Untreated swimmer’s ear can lead to complications such as hearing loss, cartilage and bone damage, and the spread of infection to surrounding areas.


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