A 28-year-old male asked:
Can not hear out of my right ear after swimming please help i went swimming, then about 2 hours later i used a q tip because i hear water sloshing around, my hearing became instantly muffled, there was no pain involved and 3 days later its still muffled w
1 doctor answer • 2 doctors weighed in
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
The : The external ear canal is a long and narrow tube that ends in the eardrum. Earwax is usually produced in the mid-section, and generally comes out slowly with the growth of ear canal skin.
Water from swimming or shower can enter the ear canal inadvertantly. If the ear canal is completely clean, this water will most likely evaporate spontanously over the next few hours. However, if there is already some earwax (cerumen) in the ear, the water can get trapped in the earwax. Earwax is typically found in the ear in a dehydrated state, and exposure to water can make it re-hydrate and expand. This will then lead to a further sensation of blockage. If attempt is made to use q-tips, the earwax could often be pushed further in, and complete blockage of the ears can result.
Your best bet at this point is to remove the earwax and liquid in order to restore your hearing and prevent infection. This could be accomplished by over the counter peroxide-based ear washing systems. Alternatively, your doctor can remove this for you in the office and determone if any further treatments and medications are needed.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
5.4k viewsReviewed >2 years ago
Last updated Oct 3, 2016
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
$44 video appointments with $19/month membership*
*Billed $57 every 3 months. Cancel anytime.
Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.