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Keeping Ears Dry: Care Instructions


Your doctor wants you to keep water from getting into your ears. You may need to do this because of a ruptured eardrum, an ear infection, or other ear problems.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take baths until your doctor says you can take showers again. Avoid getting water in the ear until after the problem clears up. Ask your doctor if you should use earplugs to keep water out of your ears.
  • Do not swim until your doctor says you can.
  • If you get water in your ears, turn your head to each side and pull the earlobe in different directions. This will help the water run out. If your ears are still wet, use a hair dryer set on the lowest heat. Hold the dryer 8 to 10 centimetres (3 to 4 inches) from your ear.
  • Use your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. Do not put drops in your ears unless your doctor prescribes them.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.