Removing water from your ears is essential to avoid discomfort, distorted hearing, and potential infections. If the water doesn’t drain naturally, there are several methods you can use to get it out. Remember to be gentle and avoid using objects that could damage your ears further.
The Vacuum Method
To use the vacuum method, tilt your head sideways and cup your ear with the palm of your hand to create a slight seal. Then, quickly push your hand upwards and downwards, pressing it against the ear and then pulling it away. This will create suction to help expel the water. Finally, tilt your head to the side to allow the water to drain out.
The Valsalva Maneuver
This is a common trick swimmers use to clear water from their ears. Here’s how it works: take a deep breath, close your mouth, and gently pinch your nostrils. Slowly blow the air through your nose. If you hear a popping sound, it’s working. To complete the process, tilt your head to the side to let the water drain out. Be careful not to blow too forcefully, as it can harm the eardrums.
Fight Water with Water
Although it may seem counterintuitive, using water to remove water from your ear can be effective in certain situations. Here’s how to do it: tilt your head with the affected ear facing upwards, and use an eye dropper to put some water into the ear. Wait for about ten seconds, then turn over so the water-filled ear faces downwards. The trapped water, along with the added water, should drain out.
Vinegar and Alcohol Method
Vinegar and alcohol mixture removes ear water and prevents infections. Combine equal parts, apply a few drops using an eye dropper, massage gently, wait 30 seconds, then tilt the head to drain. Alcohol evaporates water, vinegar protects from bacteria. Use 3-4 drops max.
Jiggle it a Little Bit
Jiggling the ear can break the water seal and help drain trapped water. Tilt the head to the side and jiggle the earlobe. If needed, shake your head gently from side to side to dislodge the water.
Jiggling the ear can break the water seal and help drain trapped water. Tilt the head to the side and jiggle the earlobe. If needed, shake your head gently from side to side to dislodge the water. If the water doesn’t drain out after a few minutes, consult a doctor, as they can safely remove the water and check for any potential issues.
Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile solution to remove water, earwax, bacteria, and debris from the ears. Apply four drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the ear canal, wait three minutes, then tilt your head to the side with the affected ear facing down to drain the water. Avoid this method if you have a perforated eardrum, ear infection, or ear tubes (tympanostomy), and consult a healthcare professional for advice.
Like hydrogen peroxide, olive oil can aid in removing water from the ear and prevent infections. Warm up some olive oil in a bowl until it’s lukewarm (not hotter). Place a few drops in the affected ear while lying on your side, with the ear facing up. Allow the olive oil to work for 10 minutes, then tilt your ear down to let the water drain.
To relieve water trapped in the Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the cavity behind the nose, use a hot compress. Soak a washcloth in warm water and gently squeeze out the excess water. Place the cloth on the plugged ear for about 30 seconds, then remove it. Repeat this process five to six times. Afterward, sit up or lie down on the opposite side to encourage water drainage.
Yawn or Chew
If you find water trapped in your eustachian tubes, try yawning or chewing gum to relieve the tension and resolve the issue. Yawning is the most effective, but chewing gum can also help. Afterward, tilt your head to the side to encourage the water to flow out of your ear canal.