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When to Worry About Water Stuck in your Ear

water stuck in ear

Water stuck in your ear? Oh no!

We’ve all gotten water stuck in our ear, and it’s an annoying inconvenience. When does this annoyance become an infection, and when should we visit a doctor? There are a few simple rules of thumb when considering a trip to the doctor for water trapped in the middle ear.

Before heading to the doctor, you can try removing the water on your own. However, this is a delicate process so proceed with caution. Also note, that when children are complaining of ear pain, go to the doctor instead of trying to help at home. It is not worth risking damage their ear.

Here are the important things you need to know when considering how to get water out of your ear:

  • Can I use a cotton swab to get water out of my ear?
  • How do I safely remove water from my ear without causing any damage?
  • Can I blow dry the water out of my ear?
  • You’ve tried all the home remedies, should I now go see my doctor?

Can I use a cotton swab to get water out of my ear?

The answer is absolutely not. Nothing smaller than an elbow should enter your ear and if you aren’t careful, you could cause more damage than good, so drops are safer than a cotton swab.

How do I safely remove water from my ear?

Well, the old wives prescription of hopping on one foot with your head tilted to the side is considered a tried and tested method (thanks to gravity).

You can also try lying with the affected ear down on a pillow, and drawing water out of your ear by yawning. The muscles used by a yawn or the motion of chewing can recalibrate or loosen the water and it will drain on its own. The temporomandibular joint — which is located below the ear canal and with the motion of chewing — stretches, which can help remove trapped water. Chewing gum is another simple at-home remedy that may work to remove water through this method.

Can I blow-dry the water out of my ear?

Why yes, you can! But, if this is a method you’d like to try at home then keep the heat setting at its lowest or even cool, should your blow-dryer have that setting. Hold the blow-dryer at least a foot away from the affected ear for safety and pull the ear canal or lobe down so the cool air can reach the water with ease. The blow dryer will effectively evaporate the water that’s trapped in your ear canal and you should feel immediate relief.

When is it time to ditch the home remedies and leave it to the professionals?

So you’ve jumped, blow-dried, chewed gum while laying down but nothing worked? Well, a trip to the doctor is essential. An influx in earwax may be causing a blockage so water can’t drain and it’s important that a doctor have a look into your ear with the right equipment. Fluid build-up can affect your hearing and if left untreated can damage your hearing. If you see yellow, brown or white fluid from your ear, this usually means your eardrum has been ruptured and you should seek immediate medical attention.

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Dr. Nguyen is a national expert in the treatment of nasal allergies and your other ENT related needs. Let us use the newest technology and our vast experience to customize a solution for your health needs. Houston Sinus and Allergy has over a decade of experience in treating nasal allergies. Our practice has won numerous awards, including being voted the Living Best of Reader’s Choice Award in 2015.

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