Why Surfer's Ear Sucks

by Derek Dodds July 03, 2016

New Research Shows How You Can Be Seventeen Times Less Likely To Go Deaf From Surfer's Ear

If you are a regular surfer you will probably have heard of surfer's ear. This is a condition of the outer ear which leads to surfers going deaf and having repeated ear infections. If you don't take precautions you may need to have your ears chiseled or drilled and be out of the water for weeks. Ear infections can be painful and also result in time away from surfing. 

It's rather strange how surfer's ear comes about. When the bone of the outer ear is cooled down by the wind and water it grows small bony lumps around the opening to the ear canal. These gradually close the ear over, leading to the problems above. Research by ZenPlugs shows 60% of people who have been surfing without ear plugs or cap for 10 years or more are likely to have signs of the disease.

The majority of surfers who completed the questionnaireSurfer's Ear knew about earplugs preventing the condition. Unfortunately most did not know that a neoprene hat is also required to keep the problem away. This is because cold water on the bone around the ear can also cause surfer's ear. The neoprene keeps it warm and looks after your hearing. 

It may also surprise you to find out that you might not know you have the problem until the narrowing of your ear reaches 90%. This is when the deafness starts.

ZenPlugs also showed that people who go surfing in cap and plugs more than 90% of the time were spared. In fact they were 17 times less likely to develop the condition than those who had not worn either.  The people surfing longest in the survey had been going in the water for well over 20 years.

Summary. If you wear your surfing ear plugs and cap every time you surf you are 17 times less likely to go deaf from surfer's ear.




Derek Dodds
Derek Dodds

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