Water in Ear: Symptoms, Causes and Home Remedies

Have you ever felt that typical tickling sensation in your ear? This usually happens when water gets trapped inside your ear canal after taking a shower or swimming. However, it may also happen from any exposure to water, and it must be treated to avoid complications. If the problem is accompanied by pain and other symptoms like redness and fluid drainage, it indicates an infection.

Sometimes the problem gets so severe that people start having serious hearing problems. To avoid getting to such a point, it is recommended to devise a solution as soon as you experience the early signs. Itchiness inside the ear, difficulty in hearing, and pain are some of the signs that indicate that the problem is getting worse.

There are home remedies to address this problem without having to see a doctor. But if the treatment is delayed or the symptoms don’t go away, you eventually have to consult a physician. If you get water in the ear after taking a shower, it may drain out on its own after some time. However, if it doesn’t drain out and you start experiencing pain and discomfort, it’s a sign of an infection.

So, in this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and causes of water in-ear and discuss the most common and effective home remedies for this problem so you can address it at home. We will also look at how to prevent this condition and avoid complications by using some useful tools. Let’s dive in!

Water in Ear
Water in Ear

Water in Ear – Symptoms, and Causes

While getting water trapped inside the ear is not much of a problem, it gets serious when it gets infected. As this condition is commonly called, Swimmer’s ear is sometimes accompanied by many signs and symptoms. Some of these include:

  • Redness and swelling inside the ear
  • Inability to hear properly
  • A feeling of fullness inside the ear
  • A tickling sensation
  • Discomfort and pain
  • Pus or fluid drainage from the ear

While these symptoms may be mild, they indicate seeing a doctor or using a treatment right away. Home remedies are good for getting rid of water in the ear when the above signs and symptoms are not there. However, if you think your ear has become infected because of the moisture trapped inside, it’s better to consult a physician.

Swimmer’s ear

If you are wondering how you got a swimmer’s ear, here is some useful information. You may be in the habit of cleaning your ear too much, or you clean it improperly using the wrong tools.

In addition, some skin allergies and conditions may also lead to a swimmer’s ear. While swimming itself is an activity that causes water to get trapped in the ear when you swim in contaminated water, you may also get an ear infection. Eardrops are used to clean the inner ear and cure the infection using an anti-fungal or antibiotic medicine.

8 Best Home Remedies for Water in Ear

There are many ways to drain water out of your ear at home without relying on any medication. So, let’s look at these treatments and how they work.

1. Lie down on your side: This is the easiest way to address the problem, and it makes use of gravity to drain the water out. Lie down on the side with the ear that has water in it facing down, and place a towel underneath it to absorb the water. Then wait for a few minutes.

2. Use a blow dryer: This remedy may prove to be very effective but make sure you don’t apply continuous heat to your ear. Keep moving the hairdryer back and forth while tugging on your earlobe to allow maximum heat to flow in.

3.Use eardrops: People use different types of eardrops to get rid of water in the ear. The most common of which is a mixture of alcohol and vinegar. Alcohol not only helps to evaporate the moisture but also helps to cure bacterial infection. A sterile dropper can be used to apply drops into your ear.

4.Use olive oil: Olive oil is a miraculous remedy for infections and removes water trapped inside the ear. All you have to do is warm up a little olive oil and, using a dropper, put some drops inside your ear. Lie down on your side to get it completely inside, and then tilt the head in the opposite direction to drain out the water.

5.Try yawning or chewing: When the problem is mild, this method often proves useful. Yawning or chewing helps to relieve tension in your eustachian tubes, thereby removing the water from these tubes and offering you relief.

6.Use steam: Using steam, just like when you have flu or cold, also helps drain water out from the inner ear. Inhale the steam normally for 10 minutes and then tilt your head to drain the water.

7. Use apple cider vinegar: If you don’t have alcohol available at home or don’t want to use it, you can also use a mixture of apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water. Use a baby syringe or dropper to apply a good number of these drops inside your ear, wait for some time, and then clean the ear using a cotton ball.

8. Use hydrogen peroxide: If you ear wax, it can trap water in your ear, preventing it from draining out. The solution, in this case, is to clean your ear first using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Once your ear gets rid of the wax, the water will drain out on its own.

In addition to the above remedies, creating a vacuum around your ear canal also helps drain the water out. It’s easy to achieve this. All you have to do is cup your palm over the affected ear and then pushing it back and forth to create a suction. While doing this, tilt your head down to drain out the water.

Prevention of Water in Ear

Since water gets in the ear during a bath or while swimming, it’s a good idea to put in cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly inside your outer ear before getting into the water.

Earplugs and a swim cap are also useful tools for swimmers, especially those who swim regularly. Use a towel to dry and clean your ears after coming out of the water. Doctors recommend earplugs to people who regularly play water sports to prevent water from becoming trapped in the ear effectively.

There are some things that you should never do when you have water trapped in your ear. It is not recommended to put in a cotton swab to clear out the wax and dirt. This method can actually have the opposite effect, and it can further push in the water instead of draining it out.

Never sleep with earplugs plugged inside your ears. Don’t use earphones all the time and especially when you suspect having water in your ear. Do not try to drain the water out using your finger, neither irritate the ear canal using an earbud or other similar tools.

It is not recommended to use hydrogen peroxide or any other types of drops if you have a ruptured eardrum. Avoid using any medication without consulting your doctor first. Other home remedies should also be used properly or under supervision.

When to See the Doctor

In most cases, water in the ear gets drained out on its own. However, if the symptoms discussed above don’t go away even after a couple of days and you also start experiencing pain and inflammation, it’s time to see a doctor.

They will examine the ear from inside and see for signs of pus, redness, or inflammation. They would prescribe corticosteroid eardrops that also contain an antibiotic or acetic acid to prevent the infection. Anti-fungal eardrops are also sometimes prescribed if the infection is of fungal nature.

Immediately see a doctor if you:

  • Experience persistent pain inside the ear
  • You feel inflammation or swelling
  • You have difficulty hearing, or there is a ringing sound in the ear
  • The water is still trapped inside the ear after 2 or 3 days
  • No other remedies seem to work

It is a good idea to consult a physician when you have a swimmer’s ear to prevent more serious problems.


Water in the ear is a common problem, and one usually gets it after swimming, which is why it is also referred to as “swimmer’s ear.” If the condition is accompanied by pain and discomfort, it is recommended to treat it with the help of prescribed eardrops.

And it’s also a good idea to prevent the problem by wearing earplugs or cotton balls before getting into the water. I hope this article helped answer all your queries about water in-ear, and you are now ready to adopt a treatment and get rid of it.

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