For many people in Reno, summer means 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, surfer’s ear or another type of infection that can cause hearing loss if left untreated.
The following techniques should help you get rid of water trapped in your ears.
- The Gravity/Jiggling Technique. 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! You can use a cotton swab to remove any water remaining in your ears.
- The 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.
- The Vacuum Technique. Placing the palm of your hand over your plugged-up ear and pressing gently for a few seconds will create a suction effect that should help dislodge water from the canals. Repeat until it is all gone.
- The Hairdryer Technique. 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.
- The Pulling Technique. Reach around the back of your head and tug gently on the outer portion of your ear with your opposing hand. This will straighten out the ear canal and allow water to drain out.
- The Chew and Yawn Technique. Moving your mouth and jaw help equalize pressure in the Eustachian tubes. Try chewing gum and yawning to encourage built-up water to drain out. Shaking your head afterwards provides an extra assist if you can’t quite get it all.
- The Chemical Technique. If none of these natural techniques help, there are a number of over-the-counter alcohol-based ear drops designed to remove moisture from the ear canals.
Your audiologist in Reno recommends 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 afterwards. If you have water trapped in your ears and can’t get it out using these techniques, make an appointment as soon as possible.
Call LeMay Hearing & Balance at (775) 323-5566 for more information or to schedule an appointment.