Have you experienced swimming with your head in a wrong position and accidentally trapping water inside your ear?
All of us have been there – and we can agree that it’s got to be one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. You hear muffled sounds and feel tickling sensation from ear to the jaw or throat. You also feel uneasy. The water usually drains out on its own, but if it doesn’t, it may lead to a horrible infection called, “swimmer’s ear.”
You probably tried tilting your head down to your shoulder and hopping on one foot like a weirdo just to drain the water out. It’s okay to look ridiculous, as long as you get that nasty liquid out of your system and feel that oddly satisfying warm sensation from your ears, right?
However, there are a number of ways to safely remove water that’s trapped in the ears. The next time you take a bath carelessly or swim without a swim cap, you can use some of these tips.
1. Tug the earlobe
While tilting the head down toward the shoulder, tug or jiggle your earlobe. You may also shake your head from side to side to help clear water out. No need to hop or slap your head. Please.
2. Lie down on your side
Lying down on your side with your affected ear facing down also help drain the water. Trust the law of gravity. You can even watch TV or entertain yourself while staying in that position for a few minutes until you feel the satisfying sensation of warm water coming out of your ear.
3. Use a blow dryer
Blowing dry the ear may sound crazy, but it works for some people to evaporate the trapped water inside.
Set the dryer on its lowest heat setting and hold it about one foot away from your ear. Tug your earlobe down while moving the blow dryer in a back and forth motion. You can feel the water draining out. Make sure it’s not too warm or too close to the ear to avoid burning yourself.
4. Create a vacuum in your ear
Tilt the head sideways and keep a palm tightly cupped over the ear.
By rapidly flattening and cupping the hand against your ear, you create a suction-like vacuum which will draw the water in your ear toward your hand.
Note: Don’t do this with ear facing upwards. Doing so will only drive water farther back into the ear canal.
5. Use a warm compress
Apply a warm compress to the affected ear. Leave the compress in place for about 30 seconds and remove it for a minute. Repeat for four to five times.
6. Exercise your jaws by chewing and yawning
The water gets stuck in your Eustachian tubes, which is a part of your inner. By moving your jaws, you can free up those tubes.
Chew a gum or just pretend you’re gnawing on some food to move the jawbones around your ears. Tilt to the side that doesn’t have water in it, then rapidly tilt your head to the other side. You can also yawn to pop the “bubble” of water.
7. Turn to homemade solutions
If all of these quick fixes still don’t work, it’s time to turn to natural remedies.
If you can’t run to the drug store for OTC eardrops, make an eardrop solution made of one part rubbing alcohol and one part white vinegar. You can call a friend to assist you with this. Using a sterile dropper, put 3 or 4 drops of the solution into the ear. After 30 seconds, carefully tilt the head sideways for the solution to drain out.
Combining the evaporating effect of alcohol and the anti-bacterial component of vinegar, the solution both helps get rid of that water and prevent bacteria from growing and infecting your ear. It works if you’re prone to getting swimmer’s ear.
Note: Don’t do this if you have a punctured eardrum.
8. Use A Swim Cap Next Time
Prevention is better than cure, right? The next time you swim, make sure to wear skin-tight swim caps to protect your ears.
For maximum protection, wear it with earplugs or opt for custom swim caps with ergonomic ear pockets, designed to prevent over-pressure and keep water away from the ears. Swim caps are also used to protect swimmer’s hair and reduce drag in the water caused by loose hair.
Author Bio: Mina Natividad is one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts, specializing in custom swimming caps in the UK. She’s fascinated with writing articles focused on sports fashion, health, and wellness.