How does water get “stuck” in your ear?


I know this may seem like a stupid question but how are we able to go underwater without the same “stuck” feeling occurring?

In: 19

The “stuck” feeling generally occurs when we get a pocket of water sitting in our ear canal that’s being held there by surface tension. In other words, there’s a layer of water that’s bonded together and acting as a “wall” that prevents the other water from escaping. This often happens when we quickly exit a larger body of water or quickly tip our head and the outflow of liquid gets bottlenecked someplace. When we manage to break that surface tension, we feel the water flow out our ear.

When we’re in a pool, water is more or less hanging out in our ears, and our entire head stabilizes to the underwater pressure. There can’t be a “wall” formed by surface tension, because there’s no air in the ear canal for it to wall off water from.

That only Happens under specific circumstances. Try putting your head under water normally and nothing will Happen. But then try tilting it to the side, so that your ear points towards the surface. You will feel the water entering that ear and this is the water that will create the mentioned sensation.

My guess would be that the shape of your ear creates a pocket of air that doesnt escape as long as your head stays in a straight position and that prevents water from entering. When you tilt your head, the air escapes upwards and water can enter. You can of course get it out again by getting Out of the water, tilting your head to the other side and maybe jump a few times since the water cant get past the eardrum