How can I help clear my daughter's clogged ear after swimming?

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Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Getting water in the ear can clog it in two ways:
  • Water can get trapped in the ear canal just because of its narrow, irregular shape. The water usually drains out in minutes to hours. But it can take longer.
  • Water can mix with wax in the canal, soften it and form a seal of the canal. This can take days to clear, and you may need to see your doctor to have it treated.
Trying 4-5 drops of isopropyl alcohol in the ear after swimming will clear out any trapped water.

To avoid problem #2, keep the ears cleaned of wax. When your daughter gets her yearly physical, her doctor can check her ears for wax and clean them, if necessary.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.