Why Do My Ears Hurt After Swimming?

If you’re wondering why your ears hurt after swimming, you’re not alone. Many people experience this problem, and it can be caused by a number of different things. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of ear pain after swimming and what you can do to prevent it.

Checkout this video:


For many people, the sensation of pain in the ears after swimming is all too familiar. In fact, this problem is so common that it even has a name — swimmer’s ear.

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear canal, which is the passageway that leads from the outside of the ear to the eardrum. The infection is usually caused by bacteria or fungi that enter the ear when water is trapped in the ear canal. Swimmer’s ear can also be caused by irritation from objects such as cotton swabs or fingers.

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear include pain, itching, redness, and drainage from the affected ear. The pain is often worse when you move your jaw or touch your ear. Swimmer’s ear can usually be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines, but severe cases may require antibiotics or other treatments.

If you have swimmer’s ear, there are some things you can do to ease the pain and speed healing. These include using over-the-counter pain relievers, applying a warm compress to the affected ear, and avoiding swimming until the infection clears up.

What are the causes?

When water gets trapped in the ear canal, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This can cause an ear infection, which is often accompanied by pain. Swimmer’s ear is a common type of ear infection that affects swimmers and others who spend time in water. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent swimmer’s ear and other ear infections.

Water pressure

There are several reasons why your ears might hurt after swimming. The most common cause is water pressure. When you go underwater, the pressure of the water pushes on your eardrums. This can cause them to become irritated or even rupture. If you have a hole in your eardrum, it can also allow water to enter your inner ear and cause infection.


The most common cause of swimmer’s ear is an infection with bacteria that enter the ear through a cut or break in the skin. The infection starts in the outer ear canal and can spread to the middle ear if it’s not treated. Swimmer’s ear is also called acute otitis externa.

Other causes of swimmer’s ear include:

-Allergies. Allergies to certain materials, such as nickel, can cause swimmer’s ear.
-Fungal infections. These are much less common than bacterial infections.
-Irritants. Chemicals in hair dyes, shampoos, and other hair products can cause swimmer’s ear. Water that contains too much chlorine or salt can also be an irritant.


Allergies are a common cause of Ear pain after swimming. The most common allergic triggers are:
-Dyes in the pool water
-Chemicals used to clean the pool
-Fragrances added to the pool water
-Pollens in the air near the pool

If you suspect that you may be allergic to something in the pool, try swimming at a different time of day or in a different location. You may also want to talk to your doctor about allergy medication.


One common cause of ear pain after swimming is trauma to the ear canal or eardrum. This can occur if you accidentally hit your head while swimming, if you fall into the pool, or if you are using equipment that is too large for your ear canal. Trauma can also occur if you put your fingers or other objects into your ear canal while swimming. If you experience any trauma to your ear while swimming, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

Another common cause of ear pain after swimming is swimmer’s ear, which is an infection of the outer ear canal. Swimmer’s ear is usually caused by water that remains in the ear after swimming, which provides a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Swimmer’s ear can also be caused by using dirty or contaminated pool water, or by sharing towels or other personal items with someone who has an infection. If you think you might have swimmer’s ear, it is important to see a doctor so that the infection can be treated.

How can I prevent it?

If you’ve ever gone for a swim and come out with painfully sore ears, you’re not alone. Many people experience this same issue, and it can be quite frustrating. There are a few things that can cause this, but luckily, there are also a few things you can do to prevent it. Let’s take a look.

Use earplugs

If you’re concerned about water entering your ear canals, you can purchase earplugs designed for swimmers at most pharmacies and sporting goods stores. You also can make your own earplugs out of modeling clay.

Common household items such as petroleum jelly, vinegar and alcohol also can be used to prevent swimmer’s ear. Before swimming, apply one of these products to the outside of each ear. This creates a barrier that keeps water out.

Be careful when cleaning your ears

Cotton swabs, also called earbuds or Q-tips, are one of the most common objects used to clean the ear. However, they are also one of the main causes of ear injuries. People often use cotton swabs to clean the wax from their ear canals. However, this can actually push the wax further into the canal, which can cause impaction. In addition, cotton swabs can scratch the sensitive skin in the ear canal and lead to infection.

Avoid swimming in dirty water

The best way to prevent swimmer’s ear is to avoid swimming in water that might be contaminated with bacteria or viruses. If you can’t avoid swimming in unclean water, try to keep your head above water as much as possible.

If you do get swimmer’s ear, the infection can usually be treated with a course of antibiotics. In some cases, you may need to have the infected tissue removed surgically.


There are many possible explanations for why your ears might hurt after swimming, but the most likely cause is due to a change in air pressure. When you swim underwater, the air pressure in your ears increases and can cause pain. This is especially true if you have a cold or sinus infection, which can block the Eustachian tubes and make it difficult for the pressure to equalize.

If you regularly experience pain after swimming, you may want to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist to rule out any other potential causes, such as a perforated eardrum or inner ear damage. In most cases, however, the pain should go away on its own within a few minutes or hours. In the meantime, you can try yawning or swallowing to help open the Eustachian tubes and relieve the pressure.

Scroll to Top