The ears are exposed to fluid daily through activities such as showering, bathing and swimming. Under normal circumstances, wax inside the ear coats the inner surfaces, forming a waterproof barrier between the ear and the outside world. Any fluid that enters simply drains back out. Under certain circumstances, fluid can be forced past this barrier and become trapped within the ear. In many cases, fluid will eventually dry up on its own. However, if you’re prone to ear infections or if you find the situation uncomfortable, there are some steps you can take to speed up the process.
The easiest way to remove fluid from your ears is to let gravity do the work. Tilt your head sideways until the ear containing the fluid is parallel to the ground and wait. If nothing happens, shake your head a few times or hop on one foot in an effort to dislodge the liquid. Alternatively, you can lie down and place your head against a hard surface. Turn to your side, positioning the offending ear near the ground. Place the palm of your hand flat against your ear and press in as hard as you can. Quickly remove your hand, creating a temporary vacuum and pulling the fluid out.
If the mechanical method seems too tiresome, try speeding the evaporative process with the application of heat. Tug the lobe of your ear away from your body, stretching the canal of the ear into a straight line. Hold your hair dryer 12-18 inches away from your ear. Set the dryer to warm, not hot, and place the air flow on low. Turn the dryer on and aim it directly into the ear canal. Hold the dryer in position for approximately 30 seconds. The hot air will help the fluid evaporate.
There are a number of drying drops you can purchase for your ears, or you can create a solution of your own at home. For example, mixing one tablespoon of white vinegar with one tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol will give you a reasonably effective bottle of ear drops. The alcohol helps to remove the water while the acid in the vinegar kills any bacteria that may be taking root as a result of the excessive moisture. To use the drops, pull the lobe of the ear away from the body to extend the ear canal. Fill an eyedropper with solution and deposit the contents into the ear. Press the lower flap over the opening of the ear canal and rub gently, working the drops into the ear. Wait 30 seconds and then tilt your head to let the fluid drain back out.