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trapped ear fluid

for over a week now, i've had some trapped fluid in my left ear and can notice it when i yawn and sometimes other times as well. i thought it would go away, but it hasn't.
i am afraid for it to turn into an infection.

what actually helps? does hot compress? and if so, applied to where?
will a neti pot help or hurt?
i'm too worried to put any kind of drops in my ear.

i don't know how this happened, but i have to wear ear plugs a lot during my sleep because i live in an old duplex and can hear when the upstairs neighbor is vacuuming, listening to music, walking around, etc.

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
uozlulu
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I would try a wet q-tip and gently run it around, careful not to poke too far with it. You will want it wet because a wet q-tip picks up more things than dry (at least in my ears).

Another thing I've found that helps that feeling for me is to draw a bath or go for a swim and then after submerging my ears in the water, tilt my head from side to side to drain out the water, and sometimes the excess water already there comes out with the water I introduced.
shutyoureyes
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
i'll try both, thanks!
sapphyres
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
I am not a doctor. Please don't sue me, I have no money. :) I got some water seriously stuck in my ear. I dropped in some rubbing alcohol, laid on my side for a while, then gently applied a cotton swab to the very outside entrance to my ear canal while leaning over. The alcohol should kill a lot of bacteria (per the interwebs) and then the tilting helps the excess water & alcohol flow out. My ear canal was slightly swollen but there was no pain.

As always, be very very careful with q-tips. I pressed mine very super carefully against the very outside, visible entrance to my ear while leaning to the side.

Holding your nose and closing your mouth while exhaling very hard helps too and I'd try that first.
shutyoureyes
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
no worries, i wouldn't sue you.

i'm too afraid to try to alcohol, but i will try submerging in a bath tub and using a q-tip later today.

i've tried to nose holding thing, but no luck.

thanks!
sapphyres
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I was afraid of the alcohol until I made sure no one was screaming, "no no no BAD IDEA" anywhere on the webs. It does feel kinda warm, but it won't give you an infection, in case the other ideas don't help. I'm *terrified* of ear infections.
leahfu
Jul. 10th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to say that the product Swim Ear is mostly isopropyl alcohol(the rest is glycerin to make it thicker I guess?). I grew up with my grandmother putting it in my ears after swimming and baths.
gemfyre
Jul. 11th, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
When I get water in my ears after a shower that's being stubborn, I'll roll up the corner of a tissue and poke that into my ear. I figure because it's all soft it won't have the pressure behind it that a cotton bud would. Also, because a tissue is made from wood fibres it's really absorbent and sucks the moisture right up.
marieoroumania
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
A drop or two of rubbing alcohol works when I have water trapped in there (I used to be a swimmer.)
shutyoureyes
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
eesh, all the way in the ear? that makes me nerrrvous
marieoroumania
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Well, the alcohol dissipates pretty fast, just a couple of minutes, and it can help. Also, I just remembered when I was a kid, I went to the doctor for an ear infection from water trapped in my middle ear, and they treated it with some kind of eardrops to dry it out. Be careful and if you feel dizzy go to the doc!
tater1112
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
I also put rubbing alcohol in my ears, after every shower, and when I was a swimmer, after every swim. I've never had to leave it in for any period of time, either. I put a few drops in, then as soon as I've got the dropper out of the way, tilt my head to let the water and alcohol run out onto a towel. It's worked for me 100% of the time.

Good luck, it sounds you're in an unpleasant situation.
sioneva
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
I would see a doctor, frankly - my mom used to put drops of hydrogen peroxide or alcohol in but if you're afraid of putting anything in, I'd ask a doctor's advice rather than an LJ community's advice!
oldfoundnew
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
if you continue to wear plugs in your ears when you sleep, make sure that your ears are dry! don't wear ear plugs while you still suspect that you have water in your ears.

I developed an ear infection from getting water in my ear that eventually led to mold growing in my ear canals after I took ear drops with steroids in them. I guess the steroids mixed with a tropical-like environment created by going to bed with wet hair made my ears go crazyyyy.
shutyoureyes
Jul. 10th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
oh god.

did you have to go to a doctor to find out about the mold?
oldfoundnew
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
I went to a walk-in clinic initially to get treatment for my swimmer's ear. I took the ear drops for the required number of days, and when I was done the treatment my ears didn't feel any different.

I went back to the walk-in clinic and got a different doctor. He took one look in my ears and he was all "D:" He then said "it's really good you came here when you did because this can get really bad."

So I took the ear drops and then everything was fine. An ENT I went to later did recommend that I shower with cotton in my ears to prevent water getting in. I haven't really done that, though, because I hate the feel of cotton. Luckily I haven't had any more ear infections, either.

So just make sure you get this water situation taken care of. It's not likely that you'll end up growing mold in your ears, since my ENT speculated that my mold growth was sparked by the steroids, but I really would not wish that kind of ear situation on anyone.
marieoroumania
Jul. 10th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
OMG!!
oldfoundnew
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
It was definitely not a high point in my life.
madeofsteele68
Jul. 10th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
My son has this occasionally and the ENT said told us to have him blow up a balloon several times in a row, several times a day.
luel_exana
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I sometimes get water out of my ears by creating suction against my ear with the palm of my hand. It works by tilting my head to the side (so that the clogged ear faces down), pressing the palm of my hand flat against my ear so a vacuum seal forms, and then pulling my palm away so the suction draws the water out. I may have to do this multiple times for it to work, but it does work. Good luck!
9thmoon
Jul. 11th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Ow ow ow ow ow! Doesn't this *hurt* when it pops??
luel_exana
Jul. 11th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Never hurt me before. : / Though if you overdo it, your ear can get a bit sore.
lunarophelia
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
Try chewing gum or warming up some olive oil and putting it into your ear while you are lying down with the affected ear up. Then put a cotton ball in the ear (just lightly in the open part - no need to jam it in, you just want it to catch the dribble) and put a warm compress/run a hair dyer on low over your ear for a few minutes. Then get up/ turn your head over. That should take care of it. You can also use hydroggen peroxide. When I was a kid my mom always put a mix of rubbing alcohol and vinegar in my ears after swimming and it must have worked because I've had only one ear infection in my life. I've also heard great things about ear candles, but I have never used them.
one_crow
Jul. 11th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
I strongly advocate oil in the ears and H2O2 'cause it's bubbly and fun and gentler than alcohol. Ear candles sadly are bunk, although they are also fun.
autumn_sylver
Jul. 11th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
I used to swim every day all day in the summer when I was 13/14. I used to get water stuck in my ears a lot. (It was really annoying too, because I could hear it sloshing around in there, sometimes for a few days). Usually, I got rid of it by holding the ear that the water was stuck in downwards, lift my head, then shake it downwards, hard. I usually had to do this a few times to get the water out. You'll feel a sudden, warm trickle coming out of your ear when you get the water out.
I've never tried this, but I'm also thinking that if you spray water into your ear while tilting your head so that ear is pointing down, that might also help. I do this in the shower to help rinse out soap and excess ear wax. (I have a hand held shower head).
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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