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"How long can water stay lodged in an ear?"

ZocdocAnswersHow long can water stay lodged in an ear?


I went swming maybe a week ago and I've had water (or at least what feels like water) in my ear since then. I've tried: tilting my head and pulling the lobe, peroxide, hand suction, blow dryer, and the ever famous jump up and down and shake your head vigorously tactics but none have worked; which is why I say "what feels like water". How long can water stay in an ear canal, especially in one who's owner has deligently tried to remove it. Also, there's a trickling (<--- only word that fits) feeling if I try to lay on the side ALL night in hopes that gravity will take over. If its not water what could this be and how can I fix it? Any help is much obliged. -Frustrated


So sorry to hear about this symptom and I recommend seeing an otaryngologist-head and neck surgeon to discuss your concern. I have unfortunately treated patients like this in the past, with mixed results. At times, the sensation can persist when there is no actual water inside of the ear. There is always the possibility that there could be something inside of the ear itself, such as a hair or other particle that intermittently will bump up against the ear drum. This would usually be the most common cause of the continued complaints, as you are correct in saying that it is unlikely for the actual water to still be inside of your ear. Another thought would be that you could have something on the inside of your ear drum itself, such as a small amount of fluid. This can be quite normal for some people to have Eustachian tube dysfunction that leads to a small amount of water sensation in the inside of the ear, and doesn't respond to most of the different things that you have described, each of which would only treat the outside of the ear. There are many other things that could possibly be causing your problem, but I would suggest seeing an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon for your problem. Please see your doctor.

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