It can quickly happen. You take a quick dive into the pool or a dip in the lake, and you’ve got water in your ears. Then, it is possible that some water may get stuck in a small depression in front of the eardrum. This leads to a numb feeling or a cracking sensation in the ear. This would be unpleasant on its own. However, if the water remains in the ear longer, there is a risk of infection in the auditory canal, known as ‘swimmer’s ear’. Water should therefore not be left in the ear for a long time. Or, ideally, it should not get into the ear in the first place. This can be ensured, for example, with ear protection or earplugs specially developed for swimming that seal the ear so that no water can get into the ear while swimming or bathing.