How to Safely Remove Water from Your Ears

In the heat of the summertime, jumping into a cold pool can be extremely refreshing. From young to old, many of us enjoy some fun in the water.

Unfortunately, all the water-time fun can have some unwelcome consequences. One such consequence is getting water in your ears. This can leave you with a feeling of fullness in your ears. In some cases, you may feel like water is sloshing around in your ear. It can affect one, or both ears.

Most of the time the water will trickle out of your ear on its own. In some cases, however, it does not. Leaving the water in your ear can lead to complications. We’ve put together some tips to help you get the water out of your ears safely.

Why Does Water Get Trapped In My Ears?

It can be frustrating to get water trapped in your ears. There are a number of reasons that can cause it, including:

  • Narrow ear canal
  • Trapped by ear wax
  • Trapped by a foreign object

People who spend a lot of time in the water are more prone to getting water trapped in their ears. However, it can happen to anyone.

Sometimes doing something a bit more daring – like a backflip into the pool! – can result in water in your ears.

Is Water Trapped In Your Ears Dangerous?

It’s inevitable that by submerging your head under water, you’re going to get water into your ears. Most of the time it poses no risk to you. In fact, the water will often trickle out on its own.

You can thank your earwax for that! That’s right. The earwax produced by your ears is water-repellant. As a result, it will naturally push water out of your ears.

When the water doesn’t get out, this is when problems can arise. Bacteria may grow, and result in swimmer’s ear. Symptoms of swimmer’s ear can include:

  • Discomfort
  • Itchy ear canal
  • Redness in your ear canal
  • Clear, odorless fluid coming out of your ear

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, we recommend contacting your primary healthcare physician. 

Getting Water Out Of Your Ears Safely

If you’ve ended up with water in your ears, there are ways you can try to remove it safely. Firstly, please do not insert anything into your ear to help it drain. Whether your finger or a cotton swab, you may end up pushing something further into your ear canal. This can end up damaging your eardrum. In some cases, it may also remove the protective layer of wax in your ear, opening the way for bacteria to thrive. Just don’t do it!

Try these tips to safely remove water from your ear: 

  • Tilt your head towards the affected ear. Gently pull on your earlobe
  • Get your jaw moving. Try chewing gum or yawning. Then tip the ear that’s affected towards the ground
  • Open up your Eustachian tubes. This is easier than it sounds! Take a breath, gently pinch your nose, close your mouth and gently try to exhale.
  • Create a suction cup. Cup the palm of your hand over the affected ear. Tip your head towards the ground. As you do this, gently push and then release your palm. This back and forth momentum should help create suction.
  • Over the counter solutions. Use hydrogen peroxide ear drops. These are available in most drug stores. Do not use ear drops if you suspect that you have either an infection or a perforated eardrum!


The best way to avoid removing water from your ears is to stop it getting in there in the first place. Wear a swimming cap and ear plugs to help stop water getting into your ear.

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If you or a loved one would like to get your hearing checked, come and visit the hearing care professionals at Kenwood Hearing Center. Contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Ohio hearing center locations: Bowling Green, Toledo, or Wauseon. The hearing care professionals at Kenwood Hearing Center are here for you.

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