Learn more about some methods for removing water from your ear

If you are a swimmer or surfer then you are used to dealing with water getting inside your ear canal, but it can even happen just from taking a shower. Water usually doesn’t harm you if it gets in your ear canal, but if it stays there it could lead to an infection, commonly called “swimmer’s ear”. Most of the time, the water just irritates or tickles you until it drains out naturally. If you are experiencing difficulty with this or the water doesn’t seem to be draining out on its own then there are a few things you can do.

How to prevent water getting in your ears

If you frequently spend time in the water, you can minimize the problem by using ear plugs to keep the water from getting into your ear canal in the first place. If you are prone to ear infections or have a sensitive ear canal then this might be a good idea to prevent any problems.

How to remove water from ear

If you think you have water trapped in your ear, you should start by letting gravity take its course. This is the most basic method how to remove water from your ear.  You can help by laying on your side with your head on a towel and seeing if the water will drain on its own. How long does it take for ear fluid to drain can vary but it could be up to 10 minutes. It may also help to jiggle your earlobe, or pull on it, to direct the water outward. While you are doing this try to “pop” your ears by gently swallowing.

Another method for removing water from your ear to try is to create a vacuum to pull out the water with your hand. Place the palm of your hand over your ear and press it down to flatten out your palm. If you get a good seal around your hand and pull your hand away you should hear a short pop of suction. Do this a few times to pull the water out of your ears.

You can also try blowing the water out with warm air - a blow dryer should work fine for this, but make sure you use the lowest setting and don’t burn yourself. Start with the dryer far away and bring it closer until you feel air turbulence in your ear canal - this should dry out the water quickly.

One home remedy for water in your ear is to take 3 to 4 drops of equal parts isopropyl alcohol and vinegar in the ear and then let the solution wash out. The alcohol and vinegar will form a  solution with water and also sterilize the canal.  This should help wash the water out of your ear if other methods were not successful. 

Another method how to remove water from your ears is to use drops of olive oil. Oil repels water and olive oil also has antibacterial properties so some claim this method will help remove water from your ear.

Finally, there are over the counter ear drops that can help remove the water and prevent infections, many of these solutions are alcohol based. It can take up to 10 minutes for any of these ear drop solutions to do the trick and completely drain out of your ears.

Usually, water stuck in the ear goes away on its own, or with some simple at-home remedies. If the problem persists or you feel like you have an ear infection, including tenderness, swelling and pain, then go to a doctor. They can prescribe medicine to stop the infection and also give you advice on how to avoid the issue in the future.

Check your ears with a digital otoscope

A digital otoscope is a great way to see if you have some sort of obstruction in your ear canal, like ear wax, that may make it difficult for water to drain. ScopeAround makes a complete line of digital otoscopes for all of your at-home ear inspection needs. Shop now!