Q. I feel that there is water in my ear after cold exposure. Please help.

Answered by Dr. Shyam Kalyan N and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M


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Hi doctor,

A month ago I was at an outside chlorinated hot springs but it was really cold and windy. I remember saying my ear is so cold like freezing so we went inside. Ever since that day it feels like water is in my ear. Sometimes worse than ever. Then I got a head cold and both my ears felt clogged. But the ear that got super cold still feels like water is in it even after the cold has mostly cleared up. I went to my family doctor and they said it was red in my ear canal but they do not see an infection or water in it. What do you think? If for some reason it is compacted, could that be seen?

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Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
Allergy Specialist, Otolaryngology (E.N.T


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Do you have pain or decreased hearing? Did he rule out wax and outer ear infection? Could he see the ear drum?


Thank you doctor,

I have pain on occasion and I do feel like sometimes things sound muffled. Can they rule out wax and outer ear infection by looking in ear? She said it does not look infected but is red and asked me if I was sticking anything in there for which the answer is no. She also said the ear drum looks good.


Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
Allergy Specialist, Otolaryngology (E.N.T


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

An ENT surgeon or specialist can look into the ears using a head light and make all that out. Sometimes the canal can be edematous or tortuous and the specialist would need an otoscope or ear endoscope to see the details. But if your doctor has said the drum is fine then mostly the problem is due to the canal redness or inflammation.

Sometimes, when water goes inside and then subsequently we put some q-tips inside, it can cause diffuse inflammation. Probably that is what has occured with you. Keep your ears dry for two weeks. Instill Ciprofloxacin with Dexamethasone ear drops into the ear thrice daily. Insill three drops each time. Do not put any thing else into the ear. Keep a thick Vaseline soaked cotton plug inside the ear while bathing and remove it after bathing. Take an antihistaminic (Allegra or Zyrtec) once daily for few weeks. Allergy can also worsen the symptoms you face. Do revert back to us. When there is pain you may take Tylenol SOS.

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