Spent a few hours practicing rolling (more like practicing trying to roll) the other day. I haven’t been able to hear well from one ear ever since. Does this happen to any of you folks? How do you deal with it? Any tricks to preventing a re-ocurrance next time out?
must lessen impact of water
Docs pro plugs are a great solution but a touch expensive. perhaps facing hte water as you go under or using a hood of some sort would be cheaper. I use Rubbing alcohol mixed wiht a bit of vihnegar to dry the ears out afterward. I am not a physician though so I make no recommendations on these matters merely point out roads tha you may investigate at your own risk.
water in ears
I found you can’t beat Doc’s Pro Plugs if you are practicing rolls and wet exits.
You might have swimmer’s ear
which is a bacterial infection of the outer ear. Does your ear itch?
Rubbing alcohol or vinegar are frequently tried home remedies, or there are over the counter drops. More serious cases might require perscription drops.
I used to get ear infections often
until I stopped getting crazy with Q-Tips. Ear wax is your body’s own anti-bacterial defense so leave some in there!
It’s a good idea to capsize slowly and stay tucked. You can damage your ears. I personally hate ear plugs, but I do keep a pair in my gear bag.
I seem to do a lot of head shaking after rolls. I find bowing your head low for a minute and then giving a good shake gets the water out, but it’s never very easy for my ears. Everyone’s body is different and you might find that you have to wear plugs or have some sort of head-shaking ritual after rolling. Experiment.
do you hear a swishing sound?
I used to swim competitively and would get water in my ears all the time when practicing flip turns. If you hear a “swishing” sound when you tilt your head back and forth, tilt your head towards the affected ear and shake your head vigorously down towards your ear. Usually a few good shakes will get the water out. You’ll feel the drop or two in there drain out.
But, as mentioned above, you may have an infection. Try the shaking thing, and if that doesn’t work check with a doctor.
Doing a bunch of rolls in a day was bothering my ears. I figured out it was the force of my ear slapping the water. Ear plugs, the cheep foam ones, took care of the problem
Over the counter ear wax removal stuff helps me with this problem. I think it’s Murine brand.
There’s no pain, just a muffled, dull sound. So, I assume that there is no infection (yet, anyway.) Can feel water in there when manipulating my ear. I tried the vinegar suggestion with no help. Even bought some of the stuff over the counter which claims to clear water from the ear with no luck.
It’s getting better, so I’m hoping another day or two and it will clear. I’m reluctant to keep rolling if this is going to be re-occuring. I’ll try entering the water face first and easier and see what happens. If it occurs again, I’ll think about the ear plug thing.
mixing the vinegar
with the isopropyl alcohol works for me. I can not get water out of my ears. Specialist could tell I swam in cold water for years, said ear canals are closed up. The alcohol dries out the water and the vinegar kills the bacteria(just in case of infection.) I keep a bottle of this mix on my boat and one at home and it works better than any of the prescriptions I have tried.
Check the labels of those over the
counter things ...... they are all about the same .... if I am not mistaken a drop mineral oil is another one. Seems this would replace rather than displace the water as alcohol does.
Relax your jaw when resting ( water ear down), resist the urge to pull on your ear lobe.
Forgot ..... another vote for Docs...... supports a really cool guy / family too.
Cheap ear plugs
I use ear plugs. They are cheap little plugs that you can buy over the counter at drugstores (not the blocky foam ones–these are soft rubber with multiple flanges). I also bought some fancy WW specialty plugs but haven’t tried them yet. The cheap ones work fine and I don’t sweat over the notion of losing them.
The one time I got swimmer’s ear, long ago, I put a few drops of rubbing alcohol in the affected ear. Solved the problem very quickly and painlessly.
My water aerobics mentor swore by the stuff. She was prone to chronic bronchitus and ear infections at one time in her life, and resultant asthma as well.
I’m not about to purposely roll my kayak and I avoid diving but I can tell you this, I’ve been 100’s of degrees healthier since I began putting drops of alcohol in my ears at any hint of water or a sore ear and throat.
I seem to produce more than the usual amount of this stuff, or else it doesn’t naturally clear out like it should. Anyway, after some prolonged underwater activity after a long stretch of not having any I may find some has softened and migrated to contact the eardrum, giving symptoms like this. That’s when it’s time for the wax-removing eardrops. May take a few attempts but usually something disgusting will be flushed out. Hearing is always so much better after that.
Might want to check for puncture first
The last time anyone put alcohol in my ears was in '76 and it dropped me to my knees as if they had used a hot needle instead. Details aside, when the alcohol hit the middle ear it hurt, a lot! Both of my eardrums were punctured!
I’ve always had trouble with water, my eardrums and infections and it led to tympanosclerois. After two tympanoplasties I’ve been careful about sudden pressure changes involving water. Even shallow dives bother me at times.
IMO if your hearing doesn’t improve soon, I’d see a doctor and get some earplugs before rolling again.