Why Does My Ear Feel Wet? Complete Guide

Why Does My Ear Feel Wet

After spending hours on your favorite pass time activity- swimming, it is normal to feel wet in the ears. But if it continues for weeks, then it becomes a matter that needs medical assistance. Why does my ear feel wet? If you are dealing with this question, this article will guide you to understand the circumstances. 

The ear is the sensory organ for hearing, and it also plays a role in maintaining balance. Sound waves entering through the external part of the ear are transferred through the vibrations to the inner ear. The ear could feel wet due to fluid or ear wax getting blocked in the external auditory canal. There are many reasons for fluid build-up. 

Why Does My Ear Feel Wet?

It is crucial to have sound knowledge of the structure of the human ear when explaining the causes of excessive fluid emission. The human ear is mainly of three parts as follows.

  • The visible part of the ear is called the outer ear. (auricle/ pinna) The structural formation outer ear is skin, cartilage, and glands. These glands are responsible for secreting ear wax. It is connected to the middle ear by the external auditory canal. 
  • The middle ear has the eardrum at the beginning, and there are three small-sized bones named ossicles. Ossicles are the transmitting agents of the sound waves that have reached the eardrums. The eustachian tube is presented here and is the responsible party for the balancing. 
  • The inner ear has a cochlea and semi-circular canals (labyrinthine). The cochlea is the part that allows hearing. It is a snail-shaped structure and presents fluids and tiny hair (stereocilia) that transmit electrical signals of the sound waves to the brain. The function of semi-circular canals is balancing the body. 

Why does my ear feel wet? This question has got the following reasons. If you are recently having difficulties or pain with the wetness, do check whether the following circumstances tally with your recent activities. 


  • Infections can be happened due to bacteria or viruses.
  • Bacteria and viruses are transmitted to the ear along the eustachian tube. It starts from the middle ear and opens to the throat.
  • Infections caused in the ear could be settled within 2 or 3 days when appropriately treated. But sometimes the mucus-filled inside could last for about six weeks whether you get the medical treatments.  
  • Bacterial infections – Bacteria that cause ear infections come to the ear as a result of other respiratory system infections like Streptococcus pyogenes infection (strep throat), Otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumoniaeStaphylococcus aureusHaemophilus influenzae, Tuberculosis caused due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Viral infections– Colds caused due to rhinoviruses, influenza, adenovirus, enterovirus, coronavirus, etc., can transmit viruses to the middle ear. 

What Happens If a Middle Ear Infection Goes Untreated?

If you do not get medical assistance, the bacterial or viral infection in the middle ear starts spreading to the nearby tissues, skull, bones, and even to the brain. Infecting the brain is rare, but in most cases, microorganisms may spread to the mastoid and result in pus-filled cysts. 

How Do You Know If an ear Infection has Spread to the Brain?

When the pus is filled in the brain due to an ear infection, symptoms like ear pain, headache, fever, vomiting or nausea, vision issues, and seizure. (Sudden electrical connections happen in the brain cells without control) The seizure may result in changes in the patient’s behavior, physical movements, emotions, and consciousness.

  1. Blockage

Blockage in the ear could take place as per the reasons given below. 

  • Natural Ear Wax– Ceruminous glands in the external canal secrete fluid, and it is mixed with the dead cells of the ear to form ear wax. This ear wax gradually comes out from the opening in the external ear. Removing ear wax is unnecessary if your doctor does not recommend it. But if the natural removal process is slower than the ear wax-producing rate, it will lead to build-ups. 

How Do You Prevent Ear Wax Build Up?

Avoid cleaning the ear wax using your fingers, cotton swabs, or any tool, as it may push the formed ear wax inside. You can promote ear wax expelling by cleaning the outer ear with a warm wet cloth when you shower. 

  • Water Entered When Swimming– After you finish your swimming session, your body will naturally discharge the water entered the ear. But if this amount is not expelled, it will lead to a disease called the swimmer’s ear. 

How Can You Tell the Difference Between an ear Infection and Swimmer’s Ear?

The ear infection is in the middle ear. Therefore, the pain will exist inside the ear, and the pain will increase when you are in the sleeping position. In the swimmer’s ear, the pain comes from the ear canal opening to the external ear. You can identify this by pulling the earlobe. If pulling increases the pain, then it may be the swimmer’s ear. 

An ear infection will also cause a fever of 100°F or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of balance, muffled hearing, loss of appetite, etc. In the swimmer’s ear, the earlobe may feel itchy and swollen and turn into a reddish color that is similar to a rash. Ringing in the ear is a common symptom of a swimmer’s ear.

  • Narrow Ear Canals – In some people, the ear canal may be narrow from birth due to long-term otitis externa, previous surgeries, radiotherapy, etc. This is called stenosis in medical science. Stenosis makes the water or moisture enter accidentally into the ear, blocked inside. As a result, infections could occur. 
  • Devices- Earplugs, headphones, and hearing aids will also block the fluid coming out. If there is water trapped inside, it will cause infections.

Why are My Ears Wet After Using AirPods?

When you insert too deep into the ear, they may push back the ear wax and block the water and moisture from coming out. The doctor’s recommendation is to use earbuds only for 60 minutes and to hear with a volume of no more than 60% of your device’s sound. 


This article describes the ways your ears could get wet. If you are recently experiencing such, do not hesitate to seek medical assistance before things worsen. 

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