Keeping Ears Dry: Care Instructions

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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 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 several inches from your ear.
  • Use your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor 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 if you have any problems.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.