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How does water get stuck in your ear — and how do you get it out?


Going for a swim in the sea is one of many ways in which water can get stuck in your ear. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

It’s a familiar feeling — you’ve stepped out of the swimming pool and the sound of splashing water and children giggling has become ever so slightly muted because you’ve got water stuck in your ear. But how does this actually happen? 

“Anytime you go swimming or if you put earbuds or even hearing aids in, things can get trapped in your ear,” Dr. Christie DeMason, an assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, told Live Science. When you wear earbuds or hearing aids, for example, sweat can flow into the ear and become trapped. When you go swimming or take a shower, water can usually flow easily in and out of your ear but occasionally gets trapped as well, she explained.

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