Swimming is one of the best parts of summer. Splashing around in the pool or ocean is a great way to beat the heat and have fun with your friends and family…until you get water in your ear.
“The condition is known to doctors as “External otitis” or “swimmer’s ear,” MedicineNet author Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler said. It can happen to children and adults, and results from an infection of the skin covering the outer ear and ear canal.
“The ear infection can be short-term (acute) or chronic, which lasts for a long period,” she said.
It may feel like you are under water, even when you are not. It may be hard to hear. You may even develop redness, itching, a feeling of fullness, drainage, and pain.
What’s the fix for water in your ear? Dr. Stöppler offers the following tips:
Tip #1: Towel off! Dry your ears to gently remove water in and around them.
Tip #2: Tilt your head to the side so your ear points directly towards the ground. Allow water to drain out.
Tip #3: Gently tug on your earlobes while your ear is faced downwards to help water drain out.
Still have water in your ears?
Tip #4: Using the lowest setting (nothing hotter!) and lowest speed, point a hairdryer towards your ear canal to dry it out. Hold the hairdryer several inches away from your head.
Tip #5: Use over-the-counter ear drops containing alcohol to dry out water in your ear. However, steer clear of these if you have ear tubes, an ear infection, ear drainage, or damaged ear drums.
“Homemade eardrops using mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide” may also do the trick, Dr. Stöppler said.
If the water in your ear persists, experts advise that you see your doctor. The doctor can evaluate the problem and determine the appropriate treatment.