The water that after a good bath stays inside our ears and refuses to come out is one of the typical annoyances of summer, in beaches and swimming pools.
Sometimes it comes out very easily, just by turning your head, but other times it seems to get stuck and ends up producing uncomfortable internal noises, small hearing losses, and constant discomfort, even when we open and close our mouths.
That is why something as eccentric as seeing someone in a bathing suit jumping on the limp with their head on one side has always been one of the typical summer scenes.
1- It is probably the most used formula and it only requires that we put our head parallel to the ground with the ‘flooded’ ear pointed downwards and start jumping. It will be more effective if you keep your earlobe stretched down while jumping, as you will open the ear canal.
2- But before that, the normal thing is to start by rubbing the ear or stretching the lobe while tilting your head down and shaking it a little. It works many times and it is not necessary to give more show.
3- Even easier is to leave work to the law of gravity. And for that it is enough that we lie on our side with the affected ear resting on the towel for about five minutes, waiting for the water to come out slowly. It also works many times, and effortlessly.
4- Another effective formula is to vacuum the affected ear. Once again we tilt our head to put them parallel to the ground. On the ear pointing downwards, we place the palm of the hand forming an airtight seal and we begin to press inwards and suddenly release. This will create a void effect that can draw out the water in the style of old plungers.
5- Very simple is to bet on yawning or chewing to eliminate the water stuck in the ear. Because this simple and natural exercise can relieve tension in the Eustachian tubes. Chewing gum would help to carry out this exercise without realizing it.
6- A little more scientific is the performance of the Valsalva maneuver, discovered by the Italian doctor of the same name and which is used very frequently to equalize pressures, both in diving and in airplanes, in order to avoid discomfort when we undergo pressure changes.
The maneuver consists of taking a deep breath, closing the mouth, covering the nose by squeezing the nostrils with the fingers and blowing through the nose. We will feel something similar to an explosion that will mean that the Eustachian tubes have opened, and at that moment the water may come out.
But you have to be careful not to blow too hard, as we could damage the eardrum.
7- Surprising for many it will be perhaps the use of the hairdryer to end the water in the ear. Of course, you have to do it with care and prudence so as not to do more harm than good.
The way is to turn on the dryer at the lowest power and with a not very high temperature. We place it about 30 centimeters from the ear and we move it closer and further while we pull down the lobe to open the hot air a little way.
8- To apply a few drops of a mixture of alcohol and vinegar, in equal parts it helps to evaporate the water that we have trapped in the ear. The mixture has the advantage that on the one hand, the alcohol helps to evaporate the water and to eliminate bacteria that could cause an infection. And vinegar, for its part, can undo the wax that keeps the water trapped inside.
The application should be done with a sterile dropper (very easy to achieve) and it will be enough to introduce three or four drops in the ear for a couple of minutes. Then you should just tilt your head sideways to let the water come out.
It is important to take precautions and know that this remedy should never be used in people suffering from an external ear infection, a perforated eardrum, or tympanostomy tubes (diaboli).
9- Another home remedy is the use of boric alcohol to absorb the water. Does it ring a bell? Probably if you have lop-eared dogs you have used it once.
Boric alcohol is a compound made with alcohol and boric acid that is used in veterinary medicine to prevent and cure ear infections in animals and prevent them from suffering from otitis.
It is antiseptic, in people it is also used to treat external otitis and it is contraindicated in children under 3 years of age, in case of tympanic perforation, or when there are open wounds on the skin inside the ear.
To prevent ear infections caused by the water of rivers, swamps, swimming pools … it is a highly recommended home remedy. And making it is as simple as taking 10 cc of 70º alcohol and adding 8 drops of vinegar.
10- Even easier is the use of warm olive oil, which in addition to helping to expel water can decisively contribute to avoiding infection. It is applied by heating a little olive oil, taking a few drops with a dropper, and placing them inside the ear.
Then we lie down for about 10 minutes with the ear up, so that the oil does not spill, and after time we turn the head so that the bad ear is pointing to the ground and both the oil and the water come out.
There are more recommended homemade formulas, such as filling the ear with water with a clean dropper hoping the new water will ‘help out’ the stagnant inside. Or steam or take a hot shower, so that the steam also helps.
There are even ear drops, most of which are alcohol-based and help reduce moisture in the external ear canal, with the advantage that they can also eliminate bacteria and undo internal dirt.