Water in the ear is a very common occurrence and can happen to anyone. While swimming or taking a bath or shower, water can get inside the ears. Normally, the wax present in the ear canal prevents fluid from going deep inside the ear. But at times, fluid can get trapped within the ear.
This causes a tickling sensation in the ear that can create much discomfort. It may also be accompanied by pain and reduced hearing ability.
If left untreated, fluid in the ear can cause hearing loss, cyst formation, eardrum inflammation and other complications. This is why it is important to get rid of fluid in the ears as soon as possible.
First, you need to find out whether the fluid is accumulated in the outer ear or middle ear. Fluid accumulation in the middle ear must be treated by a doctor.
Fluid accumulation in the outer ear can be treated at home. There are simple and easy ways to remove fluid from the ear.
Here are the top 10 ways to get water out of your ear.
The best way to remove water from your ear is to let gravity do the work.
- Tilt your head sideways and hold the affected ear parallel to the ground.
- Place the palm of your hand flat against your ear and press hard for a few seconds. Quickly remove your hand. A temporary vacuum will form that will dislodge the fluid.
- Use a cotton ear bud to very carefully remove the fluid draining from the ear.
Yawning or chewing motions can also help get water out of the ear canal by creating pressure in the middle ear and stretching the ear canal.
Note: Do not insert the ear bud into the ear.
2. Valsalva Maneuver
Performing the Valsalva maneuver will help pop your ears to open the Eustachian tubes and push water out of your ears.
- Close your mouth and pinch your nostrils closed with your fingers, then take a deep breath.
- Gently blow air out of your nose to regulate the air pressure. If done correctly, you will hear a slight popping sound which means the Eustachian tubes are open again.
Note: Don’t blow your nose too hard as it may cause damage to the ear drum.
3. Blow Dryer
A blow dryer can also be used to speed up evaporation of the trapped fluid. The warm, dry air will turn the water to steam and eventually help it dissipate out of the ear.
- Pull your ear lobe away from your body.
- Hold a blow dryer about 10 to 12 inches away from your ear.
- Set the dryer heat to warm and air flow to low.
- Turn the dryer on and aim it directly into the ear canal.
- Hold the dryer in position for approximately 30 seconds.
- If required, repeat again.
Now: Do not do this for more than a few minutes at one time.
4. Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar
Rubbing alcohol and vinegar is an age-old home remedy to get rid of fluid in the ear.
While the antibacterial properties of vinegar will help kill germs present in the ear, rubbing alcohol helps dry up the water in the ear.
- Mix together one teaspoon each of rubbing alcohol and vinegar.
- Using a dropper, put two to three drops of this solution into the affected ear.
- Rub the opening of the ear canal gently.
- Wait for 30 seconds.
- Tilt your head so that the fluid can easily drain out.
5. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy can help free your ears of fluid quickly. The heat compress will help open the Eustachian tube (where fluid typically builds up), so that the fluid can escape easily.
- Dip a washcloth in a bowl of hot water, and wring out the excess water.
- Place the hot washcloth against the affected ear for 30 seconds.
- Wait for a minute, and then repeat.
- Do this four or five times at a stretch.
- Lie down on your side to help the fluid drain out.
Inhaling steam is another easy way to ease fluid buildup in the ear.
Steam will help open the Eustachian tube, in turn encouraging the release of fluid trapped in the ear.
- Pour hot steaming water in a large bowl.
- Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam slowly for five to 10 minutes.
- Tilt your head to one side.
- Fluid will start coming out of the ear.
You can also take a hot shower to draw fluid out of the ear canal.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another very effective option to get rid of fluid in ear. Due to its effervescent property, hydrogen peroxide can easily remove the trapped fluid, along with ear wax and debris from the ear canal.
- Using a dropper, put four to five drops of three percent hydrogen peroxide into the affected ear.
- Allow it to settle for one or two minutes.
- Tilt your head downwards to allow the fluid to drain out easily.
Salt can be used to treat fluid in ear as it easily absorbs water. The heat from the hot salt compress also will help the fluid evaporate and relieve pain.
- Heat one-fourth cup of salt in the microwave.
- Put the salt in a cotton cloth and tie it tightly.
- Hold this cloth near the opening of the affected ear for two to three minutes.
Garlic is another great treatment to dislodge fluid in the ear. Plus, garlic has antibacterial properties that help prevent ear infection as well as reduce pain.
- Press a few garlic cloves to extract the juice.
- Put two or three drops of garlic juice in the affected ear.
- Wait for one minute, and then blow dry the ear from about 12 inches away from the head. (See Blow Dryer remedy above)
10. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great remedy to facilitate the flow of fluid trapped in the ear. Also, its antiseptic properties will reduce the risk of ear infection.
- Slightly warm some olive oil in a small bowl.
- Using a dropper, a few drops of warm olive oil in the ear.
- Allow it to settle for 10 minutes.
- Go, turn your head sideways and remove the oil as well as the fluid with a soft ear bud.
Putting two to three drops of olive oil in each ear before going for swimming will lubricate the tissues lining the ear canal and help prevent water from getting trapped in the ears.
If none of these tips work and you still have fluid in ear, consult a doctor to avoid further complications.