How can I stop water getting in my ears when swimming?

While the obvious answer to that question might be – keep your head out of the water, that’s not the most practical.

Let’s face it, if you are in a pool and there are kids around, water tends to get splashed in all directions. And we’ve probably all experienced a surprise wave in the sea that sent us tumbling.

But if you’re swimming for exercise or competition, you’ll want to put your head in the water, for a couple of good reasons.

Firstly, surface drag. If you swim with your head out of the water, you are increasing drag or friction. If you want to go faster, you need to be streamline.

The second reason is also related to being streamline, keeping your body as straight as possible, but it also has comfort benefits. Even if you’re not trying to beat your personal best, swimming with your head out of the water puts strain on your back and neck. So, you’ll tire more quickly and may suffer injury or pain later.2

However, if you’re a swimmer who likes to do so with the head out of water, there’s still the chance that water will get into your ear, which can cause issues when it doesn’t come back out easily (Swimmer’s ear).3

So, how to stop water getting in?

Well, you could wear a tight-fitting swimming cap that covers your ears, but you’ll get more protection with earplugs.3

Always make sure you choose your earplugs wisely. They’ll need to fit snugly and be designed to be used in the water. Foam earplugs used to suppress noise or help reduce air pressure problems when flying will probably not work well for swimming.

Rather, choose earplugs that can be moulded to the individual shape of your ear, and specifically designed for swimming. Earplugs made from medical grade silicone fulfil both those requirements.

The Otifleks range features a couple of options for swimming. The first is the silicone earplug made from pure medical grade silicone, providing a safe, soft, and comfortable experience. They’re designed to snugly seal the entrance to your ear canal. So, if you’re one of those people who don’t like the feeling of something inserted into their ear canal, these will suit fine.

For those looking for a more natural approach, Otifleks also offers a natural beeswax earplug option. Mouldable, soft, and comfortable, with the added benefits of being naturally anti-bacterial. Like the Otifleks silicone option, the Beeswax earplugs are designed for swimming and showering, blocking water by sealing the entrance to the ear canal rather than being inserted into the canal.

You can check out both products here.


  1. https://www.slowtwitch.com/Training/Swimming/How_to_Position_your_Head_while_Swimming_2093.html
  2. https://swimmingwithoutstress.co.uk/2015/06/20/keeping-your-head-above-water/
  3. https://www.swimming.org/justswim/how-to-manage-prevent-swimmers-ear/



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