How to Keep Water Out of Ears When Swimming

Michael Butler
Written by
Last update:

One of the biggest challenges faced by swimmers is the potential for water to enter the ear canal, or in more serious cases, to the ear drum and middle ear. This is especially true for people who swim regularly, when natural ear wax and built-up debris are likely to impair the ear canal’s ability to effectively drain water.

It is widely believed that there are a number of factors that increase the risk of water entering your ear canal. These factors include the angle of the side-to-side head movement in relation to the water, the speed of the underwater acceleration, and the direction of the head movement. Another factor that is often overlooked is the hair. When swimming with long hair, it can get stuck on your ear. This prevents water flowing properly from the ear canal to the outside.

Wear swimmer’s ear plugs.

It’s an uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes embarrassing problem that can affect swimmers. No, we’re not talking about the itchy rash that some people get after a swim. We’re talking about something else entirely.

Known as swimmer’s ear, ear infection, or otitis externa, this condition is most commonly caused by water getting stuck in the ear canal. The bacteria that colonize this water produce an earache and a lot of pain.

It’s easy to avoid swimmer’s ear but it takes knowing what to do and making it a habit, even if you don’t feel it’s a problem.

The solution to swimmer’s ear lies in prevention. In fact, the best way to combat swimmer’s ear infection completely is by wearing earplugs when you do your laps. This also goes for taking a swim in a natural water source.

While you’ll have less of a chance of getting swimmer’s ear if you stay away from the swallowing water, most people don’t, so here are some tips on how to keep water out of ears during swimming:

Gently dry ears with a hair dryer post-swim .

Be careful not to point the dryer directly into your ear. You should blow warm air into the ear canal, aiming the air flow at the back of your ear. You should not blow air into your ear for an extended period of time.

Be careful not to point the dryer directly into your ear. You should blow warm air into the ear canal, aiming the air flow at the back of your ear. You should not blow air into your ear for an extended period of time.

Apply petroleum jelly to your earplugs. Dry earplugs can be purchased online or at a drug store.

Dry earplugs can be purchased online or at a drug store.

Ask an employee at your pool if they have any ear plugs for swimmers. These are the best option if you don’t like the feeling of ear plugs.

These are the best option if you don’t like the feeling of ear plugs.

Get ear plugs from a pharmacy .

Use a swimmers nose clip to keep water out of your ears. I’ve never used one myself, but they are popular with a lot of people.

I’ve never used one myself, but they are popular with a lot of people.

Avoid the urge to jam cotton/fingers/tissues in your ear .

People often stick cotton, fingers or tissues into their ears when they’re in the water. The problem is that this is a preventative practice, not a cure for having water in your ears. By the time you’ve jammed cotton in your ear, the water has already entered your ear canal.

The best thing to do at this point is to take your fingers out of your ear and shake your head to dispel the water from your ear.

If you hear a gurgling sound in your ear after the water has cleared, it’s not actually water in your ear. Your ear is telling you that it has been clear of water for too long, and it’s about to try to purge the water from your ear canal itself. The best thing to do at this point is to not put anything in your ear and let your ear remove the water.

Remember if the sound is present when you’re in the water and disappears when you’re out of the water, you don’t need to do anything.

And speaking of removing water from your ear: Avoid the temptation to jam anything into your ear while you’re standing in the bathroom with the shower running. Worst case scenario, your ear will get a bit more water in there than you want.

Don’t rely on swim caps to keep water out of your ears .

This myth has some logic behind it. When you’re underwater, your cap is supposed to force the water out of your ear canal. But there’s a problem with that logic.

Your cap may fit well when you put it on. But water already has a tendency to find its way in, especially if you’re diving in from the side of a pool. And when you’re inside the pool, your cap may create a seal against the pool’s side, which actually makes the problem worse when you come up for a breath.

Besides, you have to remember to put your cap on every time you go swimming. Otherwise, you almost certainly will experience ear aches, water in the ears, and even hearing loss. And who wants water in their ears when they’re trying to relax and have fun? On those days when you’re taking a swim for exercise or just cooling down, your cap probably won’t fit or even be practical.

If you’re doing freestyle, butterfly, or breaststroke, you can keep water out of your ears by ducking just below the surface of the water whenever you take a breath. This also allows more air to enter your lungs.

Hydrogen peroxide to dry and clean ear canal .

Dr Schotmans recommended using 3% H2O2 to clean the ear canal.

Steps:

{1}. )Gently put one drop in the ear canal. (Its stage 1 of your training to work up to three drops)
{2}. )Lie down on your side with head tilted downwards for about 10 minutes.
{3}. )Retract the ear and repeat on the other ear.

This technique will help to dry out your ear canal and to get rid of ear wax and unwanted earwax and other stuff.

DO NOT USE Q-TIPs OR ANY OTHER tyPES OF TUBES as they can damage your ear drum.

Q-tips are really only good for cleaning out the outer part of the ear, they are not made for deep cleaning of the ear canal. In fact, they cause a lot of wax build up in your ear canals by pushing the wax even deeper.

When swimmers clean their ears, they normally resort to these types of sticks, and in many cases, they cause ear problems by pushing the ear wax further in the ear. They also can cause loss of balance, dizziness, and other health problems when they’re used incorrectly.

I use an Ear wash called Hydrogen Peroxide, bought from the chemist/drug store.

1/2 teaspoon in one litre of warm water.

More Stuff Like This: