Urgent health warning issued to anyone planning on going swimming this summer

Family with two children in swimming pool on vacation
People have been warned about the dangers of getting water in their ears whilst swimming -Credit:Getty Images

Summer holidays are just around the corner, meaning it won't be long before many of us will be swimming in the sea more or taking a quick dip in the pool to cool down.

However, there's little more annoying than emerging from the water only to find some of the pool or sea has begun to slosh around in your ear.

Getting water stuck here isn't just irritating - it can lead to an unpleasant infection, or even worse, total hearing loss in some cases. That's according to audiologist from Boots Hearingcare, Hannah Samuels, who has issued a warning to holidaymakers.

She said: “Having water trapped in your ear canal can be an uncomfortable experience, with symptoms including tingling, a feeling of fullness in the ear canal, muffled hearing and even partial or total hearing loss.”

Ear wax is water repellent, so having water in your ear isn’t too much of a problem as it will usually end up trickling out on its own. But issues can arise when the water doesn’t find its own way out, and infections such as swimmer’s ear develop, which can lead to much more serious ear infections.

“If you develop any of the symptoms of swimmer’s ear, such as pain, itching, redness or swelling, speak to your doctor about treatment options," Hannah added.

With that in mind, here are a couple of Hannah's suggestions to get water out of your ears after swimming and avoid any potential problems.

Try the obvious

Whilst it might sound like the obvious thing to do, simply tilting your head to drain any water out of your ear can be an effective way to combat the issue. You could also lie down on your side and stay still for a few minutes, allowing gravity to do its magic. If neither of these work, try tugging on your earlobe whilst tilting your head, and moving it from side to side.

The vacuum technique

Place your cupped palm over your ear tightly to create a vacuum, pushing and pulling it to and from your ear rapidly to help create some movement in the ear canal. Keep your head tilted so the water is able to drain out whilst you do this.

Warm olive oil

You can use warm olive oil to help prevent infections, and remove water from your ear. To do this, you should lie down on your side and place a few drops into your ear. Set a timer to leave it in there for at least 10 minutes, and once the time is up, tilt your head and allow the liquid to drip away.

Use a hairdryer

If you’ve had no luck with the other methods, you can use a hairdryer on its lowest setting to help dissipate the water from your ear. Hold the hairdryer around 12 inches from your ear, moving it back and forth, whilst tugging your ear lobe to allow the heat from the hair dryer to evaporate the water in your ear canal.

Join the Daily Record's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.