Feels Like Water in Ear


Sometimes, you may feel like there is water in your ear. If you are a swimmer or a diver, this may be because there is actual water that has remained in your ear. If you have not recently gone swimming, then there is another cause to this problem.

Your ear canal is made of a middle ear that is mostly air. Within this section, the Eustachian tube helps to drain your ears. The liquid flows down the back of your throat. Meanwhile, your ear drum (the tympanic membrane) is designed to separate your outer ear from your inner ear. Normally, the ear drum helps to keep water from reaching your middle ear. Unfortunately, allergies and certain infections can cause fluid to build up within your ears. Depending on the cause, there are a variety of different treatments for this problem.

feels like water in ear

Why Does It Feel Like There Is Water in My Ears?

1. There IS Water in Your Ear

The most obvious cause of feeling like there is water in your ear is that there actually is water in your ear. If your head is immersed in water during swimming, diving or other activities, water can actually become trapped within your ear canal. This condition has been nicknamed swimmer’s ear because it frequently affects competitive swimmers. To prevent an ear infection from happening, you need to dry out your ear quickly. Otherwise, water that has collected in the outer ear canal or the middle ear can end up causing an infection.

2. An Infection or a Blockage Is Increasing the Pressure

When you have an infection or a blockage, it can cause the Eustachian tube to become blocked. This may may your ears feel like they are plugged or like there is water deep inside your ears. Sounds may seem muffled. This type of condition offer occurs after an upper respiratory infection that causes mucus development. It can lead to an inflammation and swelling that trap mucus in your ears. This, in turn, creates pressure in your ears.

3. A Middle Ear Infection

Allergies, water or a cold can cause fluid to build up behind your eardrum. This fluid then becomes a fertile area for bacteria to grow. Before long, you may develop an infection. You may experience symptoms like dizziness, headaches, fevers, nausea, ear pain, jaw pain, fullness in your ears and a feeling like there is water in your ears. If the condition worsens or does not get better after a few days, you need to go to your doctor to get treated.

4. Earwax

If you feel like there is water in your ear for a week or more, it may be due to a build up of earwax. When this happens, the earwax can create a blockage in your ear canal that makes sounds seem muffled. If the wax is close to the eardrum, it can make it feel like you have water stuck in your ears.

feels like water in ear

Treatments When You Feel Like There Is Water in Your Ear

The type of treatment you choose depends on the cause. In some cases, you may just have to wait and see what happens. A minor ear infection may clear up without a problem. If you have actual water in your ear, it may also drain on its own within a few days. If the water does not drain within five days, call your doctor. You should also go to your doctor if you have pain, thick discharge or bloody discharge in your ears.

1. Try an Antihistamine

When you have allergies, your body releases histamines wherever the foreign pathogen has occurred. This can cause an increased amount of mucus production and other problems. If allergies are the cause of your ear problem, then you can try antihistamines. These stop histamines from functioning and can dry up the mucus that is causing your problem. A steroid nasal spray may also work for this condition.

2. Use Ear Drops

Look at your ears. Do you have any drainage or pus? If not, then you can try using over-the-counter ear drops in your ears. This can help the problem, but you should also ask your pharmacist to recommend the best option. If you have pain or drainage from your ears, you should not use ear drops.

3. Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide

Some swimmers swear by this treatment. Mix a 1:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol. Afterward, place a towel on your couch or bed. Lie with one ear facing the couch and one ear facing the ceiling. Pour a little of the mixture in the top ear. Allow it to sit for about 20 to 30 seconds. Then, switch ears. The hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol will pour out the first ear while you do the second ear. The towel will catch any of the liquid.

4. Neti-Pots

Neti-pots are a saline irrigation system. They help to flush your Eustachian tubes and sinuses. Use warm water and a little salt according to the directions on the neti-pot. You should never force water into your sinuses because the warm water will break up the mucus on its own.

5. Try a Heat Pack

Use a heat pack on your ear for about 20 minutes to make your ear feel better. Before you use it, make sure that it is not too hot or you could hurt your ear.

6. Relieve Pressure by Popping Your Ear

Popping your ear can help to relieve the pressure in your ears. Close your mouth, hold your nose closed and try to blow air out of your closed mouth. This will help the fluid to move around your ears and ease the pressure.

7. Go to Your Doctor

If nothing is helping your ears, then you may need to go to your doctor. You may have an ear infection that requires antibiotics to heal. Depending on how frequent and severe these infections are, your doctor may also use a different technique to treat them. He or she may open the ear drum to help all of the fluid drain out. They may also install tubes within your ears to help equalize the pressure.


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