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water in ear

Although swimming is the most important cause of water in the ear, any situation where the ear canal is exposed to water can cause discomfort. A substance called cerumen, which is normally produced in the ear and known as earwax, prevents water from entering the ear. But in some cases, water escapes deep into the ear and accumulates there. 

If water gets into the ear, a tickling sensation can be seen in the ear canal, extending to the jawbone and throat. Hearing is also affected, and the sound is only muffled. Usually the water drains by itself. However, if there is no discharge, the water accumulating in the external ear canal can cause ear infections. This type of ear infection in the outer ear canal is called swimmer’s ear or otitis externa.

What are the symptoms of water in the ear?

Sometimes, water may remain in the ears after swimming, diving or bathing, causing some symptoms and complaints. Water in the ear can affect one or both ears and cause a decrease in hearing. Some of the symptoms that can be seen can be listed as follows:

If an external ear infection called swimmer’s ear develops due to fluid in the ear;

What are the risks of getting water in the ear?

If water stays in the ear for a long time,  there is an increased risk of otitis  externa. Infection is usually caused by bacteria found in contaminated water. Those who swim in waters with high levels of bacteria, such as lakes, are at greater risk of infection. Swimming pools are safer as bacteria and pH levels are usually checked regularly.  The risk of  otitis externa is higher in people with a chronic skin condition in the ear, such as psoriasis  or  eczema  , than in the normal population. The ear has several defense mechanisms against infections. Conditions that affect these defense mechanisms increase the risk of inflammation. The following increase the risk of infection if water gets into the ear:

How do you get water in your ear? 

Water in the ear often drains on its own and rarely requires intervention. However, if water stays in the ear for a long time and is left untreated, it can cause some unpleasant consequences. The structure of the ear provides a dark and moist environment where fungi or bacteria can thrive, which triggers the development of infection. External ear infection, also known as an outer ear infection, can cause swelling, irritation, and discomfort in the ear canal. Various methods can be used to remove water from the ear. The most commonly used methods;

How to get water out of the ear? 

Some other applications that a person can do on their own to remove water from the ear include;

How to prevent water from getting into the ear? 

A good way to prevent water from getting into the ear is to use caps or earplugs when bathing or swimming. Drying the ears thoroughly with a dry towel after getting out of the water can also be effective. Doctors recommend that people who do water sports or spend time in the water frequently wear earplugs. Shaking the head from side to side after getting out of the water helps to drain the water from the ears.

What should not be done in case of water in the ear? 

If the methods you use to remove water from the ear do not work, inserting a stick, finger, or any other object into the ear will do more harm than good. Doing so can make the situation worse by causing:

When to consult a doctor? 

Water that gets into the ear usually drains on its own. If the water in the ear is bothering the person, the home remedies mentioned can be tried. However, if the water still does not come out after two to three days or if there are signs of infection, a healthcare provider should be consulted.

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