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 a shower or swimming. 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.

Sometimes, itchiness inside the ear, hearing difficulty, and pain indicate that the problem is getting worse. To avoid severe hearing problems, it is recommended to devise a solution as soon as you experience the early signs. You should see a doctor quickly if the problem is accompanied by pain and other symptoms like redness and fluid drainage.

There are home remedies to address this problem without seeing a doctor. But you must consult a physician if the symptoms don’t go away. This article will look at some common signs and causes of water in-ear and discuss the most common and effective home remedies for this problem.

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. Many signs and symptoms sometimes accompany the swimmer’s ear. 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

If you think your ear has become infected, it’s better to consult a physician quickly.

Swimmer’s ear

There are many causes of a swimmer’s ear. 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 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 from your ear at home without relying on 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, using gravity to drain the water. Lie down on the side with the ear that has water 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 be very effective but make sure you don’t apply continuous heat to your ear. Keep moving the hairdryer back and forth while tugging your earlobe to allow maximum heat flow.

3. Use eardrops: People use different 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 moisture but also helps cure bacterial infection. A sterile dropper can be used to apply drops to 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 entirely inside, and then tilt the head in the opposite direction to drain out the water.

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

6. Use steam: Steam, like when you have flu or cold, also helps drain water from the inner ear. Inhale the steam for 10 minutes, and 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 use 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. It’s easy to achieve this. You must cup your palm over the affected ear and then push 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 cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly inside your outer ear before getting into the water.

Earplugs and a swim cap are also helpful 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.

You should never do some things when water is trapped in your ear. Putting in a cotton swab is not recommended to clear out the wax and dirt. This method can have the opposite effect and 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, especially when you suspect having water in your ear. Do not try to drain the water with your finger, nor irritate the ear canal using an earbud or other similar tools.

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

When to See the Doctor

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

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

See a doctor if you suffer from these symptoms:

  • 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 severe problems.


Water in the ear is a common problem; 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.

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