Ways To Deal When Water Accidentally Gets Into Ears
We all love to stay active and energized. And we prefer to be so by being engaged in indoor or outdoor activities. Most of us are particularly interested in water games and sports especially kids. Some children even take guided training in water-based activities like swimming, water dancing, boating, underwater exercises, or just like to enjoy the splash water activities to cool down the heat of summers.
Everything said, though it’ really fun to go swimming or do water exercises, it sometimes happens that when we come out of the water some of it enters our ears. It gives us hearing issues, pain, and sometimes severe problems of infections too. Water may enter our ears in not one but many ways. We may accidentally pour water over-ears while bathing or someone may pour it on us as a prank. If we wear earbuds for long, then also sweat gets trapped inside and cause discomfort.
If this situation is not taken seriously, soon we may end up with an infection called Otitis Externa or Swimmer’s ear. If we have water in ear canals, the bacteria present in the lining of ears start to act and multiply fast coming in contact with water causing infections of many kinds. Water in-ears makes it prone to infections because water damages the skin lining the ear canal as a result of which fungal infections can start.
HOW TO PREVENT WATER FROM GETTING INTO EARS
To prevent water from entering into ears we can follow these steps:-
1. Tilt the head of the child on the blocked side of the ear. Do so for five to ten minutes. The water from ears will drain away.
2. The gravity may work -The gravity technique should help water drain from the ear. Lie on one side for few minutes with head on a towel to absorb the water. The water may slowly drain out of the ear.
3. Using the blow dryer- Turn on the blow dryer adjusting it to the lowest intensity. Hold it about a foot away from the ear and move it back and forth in a slow-motion so that the warm air blows into the ears.
4. Eardrops of Alcohol and Vinegar – Alcohol can help evaporate water from ears. It also prohibits the growth of bacteria helping to prevent infection. And vinegar can help to remove earwax. So, using alcohol and vinegar ear drops can be quite helpful.
This method should be strictly avoided in the case of :
- An outer ear infection
- A perforated eardrum
- Tympanostomy tubes(eardrum tubes)
What one can do to lessen the pain caused due to water entering inside?
- Using hydrogen peroxide eardrops can also help clear debris and earwax, trapping inside the ear.
- Warm Olive oil – Olive oil can help prevent infection and remove water from ears. Warm some olive oil in a bowl. Using a clean dropper put a few drops of this oil into the affected ear. Lie on the other side for fifteen minutes and then tilt the ear downwards.
- Jiggling the earlobe – Shake the water out of the ear by gently tugging or jiggling the head in the downward motion towards the shoulder. Shaking the head from side to side keeping the same position can also be helpful.
- Over the counter medication – A number of eardrops are available in the market. Most of them are alcohol-based and can help reduce moisture in the outer ear canal, kill bacteria, and remove wax.
HOW DOES WATER ENTER THE EARS
In usual cases, water may enter the ears because of angular imbalance but because of structural advantage, it comes out pretty easily too. But the problem arises when there is a large amount of wax inside the ears. Wax may have a protective function generally but if present in large amounts it traps water that enters ears, blocking its drainage. It leads to pain and an uncomfortable feeling inside the ears.
VISIBLE SYMPTOMS OF WATER IN EARS
- An uncomfortable and blocked feeling inside the ears.
- A feeling of heaviness inside the affected ear.
- Pain and continuous itching in the ears.
- Infection in the ear.
- Tickling sensation with not being able to hear properly.
PRECAUTION IN CASE OF MEDICAL ISSUES
If your child is fond of swimming, follow these steps to avoid water going inside the ears:-
1. The child should not go swimming with a cold. If the child goes swimming with a cold and takes a dive in a pool there is a sudden increase in in-ear pressure. This ear pressure is released through the canal which connects the ear and the nose.
And this can happen only if the nose is free and open. If the nose is blocked due to cold this pressure cannot be released. This rising pressure can cause the eardrum to burst.
2. If your child is complaining of frequent earaches then a medical examination of ears must be done by an ENT surgeon and have the wax removed as soon as it can be.
THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN WATER ENTERS INTO EARS
If you cannot think of any remedy or a good idea to remove water from ears do not use ear swabs, fingers or any pointed object to poke inside ears. Because doing so would make the ear more susceptible to getting bacteria into the area, will push more water deeper into the ears, injure ear canals and may puncture the eardrums.
HOW IT CAN BE PREVENTED
Few simple tips can help prevent water from getting stuck in your ear in the future:
- When planning to go swimming, wear a swim cap or can use earplugs.
- When out of the water after the swim, thoroughly dry the outside of the ear with a soft towel.
WHEN TO CONSULT A DOCTOR
Generally, water trapped in the ears is not a big issue because just as it enters the ears, it drains out too. If discomfort persists for more than 2 days, consulting a doctor is a must. On examination we find that ear has become inflamed or swollen then we need to know that it may have got an infection. It needs to be treated on time otherwise it may lead to hearing loss or other severe complications like cartilage or bone damage.
Do you have any more tips in dealing with this issue? Let us know in the comments below.
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