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Tips to Help Remove Water From Your Ears After Swimming

For many people in the Philadelphia area, summer means visiting the shore, splashing through fountains or taking a dip in the pool to escape the heat. While that’s a great way to cool off, if water becomes trapped in your ears, it can lead to infection – and possibly even impact your hearing. We have some tips that will help you get rid of water from your ears and prevent health complications.

These Tips Will Help Get Rid of Water in Your Ears

Water in your ears can cause a plugged-up sensation and make sounds appear muffled. You might experience ear pain, tinnitus, hearing loss and loss of balance and coordination, a runny nose or a sore throat. When water accumulates in the ear and doesn’t drain properly, you risk developing swimmer’s ear or another type of infection that can cause hearing loss if left untreated.

The following techniques should help you get rid of the water trapped in your ears.

  • Jiggle your Ear Lobe. Gently tug or jiggle your earlobe while tilting your head in a downward motion toward your shoulder. You can also try shaking your head from side to side while in this position. 
  • Gravity. Lie on the ground with your affected ear parallel to the floor, tilt your head, and jiggle your earlobe. Gravity will take care of the rest!
  • Valsalva Maneuver. Scuba divers and airline travelers are familiar with this trick. It involves plugging your nose and blowing it using modest force; this helps to normalize the pressure in your ears and should allow water to drain.
  • Create a Vacuum. Tilt your head sideways, and rest your ear onto your cupped palm, creating a tight seal. Place the palm of your hand over your plugged-up ear and press gently for a few seconds to create a suction effect that should help dislodge water from the canals. Repeat until it is all gone.
  • Use a Hairdryer. Using a hairdryer on its lowest heat setting and aiming it at your ear (don’t get too close) will help the water to evaporate and dry out your ear canals. Don’t worry, if you don’t get rid of it all at first, the rest should drain on its own.
  • Chew and Yawn. Moving your mouth and jaw helps equalize pressure in the Eustachian tubes. Try chewing gum and yawning to encourage built-up water to drain out. Shaking your head afterward provides an extra assist if you can’t quite get it all.
  • Over the Counter Treatments. If none of these natural techniques help, there are a number of over-the-counter alcohol-based eardrops designed to remove moisture from the ear canals.

What not to do

If at-home remedies aren’t working, don’t resort to using ear swabs, your finger, or any other object to dig inside of your ear. Doing this may make matters worse by:

  • adding bacteria to the area
  • pushing the water deeper into your ear
  • injuring your ear canal
  • puncturing your eardrum


We at Clark Audiology recommend wearing swim plugs or a swim cap whenever you are going to be exposed to water in order to prevent it from entering your ears and to dry them thoroughly afterward. If you have water trapped in your ears and can’t get it out using these techniques, make an appointment as soon as possible.

Hours of Operation

Evening and occasional Saturday hours are available by appointment only.

East Norriton Office

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-7:00 pm

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

By Appointment

Sunday:

Closed

Philadelphia Office

Monday:

Closed

Tuesday:

12:00 pm-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

Saturday:

By Appointment

Sunday:

Closed