HealthCare Resources Blog

Interview with Dr. Javier Diaz Nuñez, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

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Summer vacations, hot weather and ways to cool off bring numerous trips to the swimming pool and beach! Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than an earache/ear infection! We sat down with Dr. Diaz-Nuñez, ENT extraordinaire, and posed a few questions:

HCR: After swimming in a pool or ocean, what is the best way to immediately get water out of your ears?

Dr. Javier Diaz Nuñez, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

Dr. Javier Diaz Nuñez, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

Dr. Diaz: The most traditional way is to tilt your head forward, looking at the ground and shaking your head left and right.  If it is just water that is caught, that should clear it.  If it doesn’t, it may mean that you have some debris or ear wax holding in the water.  Avoid manipulating your ear with keys, pens, pencils or Q-Tips. By the way, Q-tips were not made to clean INSIDE the ear canal, just outside!  If in the next 24 hours it does not clear up, it is best to see an ENT.

Sand will go in to every natural orifice that we have, including our ears.  As soon as we go under water, the canal expands and gets pushed against our ear drum and there is humidity retained behind this plug, increasing the sensation of a plugged ear.  When there is already pre-existing ear wax plug or some other debris in our ears, the sensation is increased.  The humid condition in the ears opens the pores of the skin in the ear canals and makes an easy access for fungi and bacteria to enter and cause an infection. Pain usually equals infection.