Friday, 6 November 2009

So what are the clinical reasons for Surfers Ear

Well - without getting into this too deeply, here a little more info. Thanks to those who have provided feedback to the blog pages and I hope to get a bit more contect up soon for you hungry knowledge monkeys!

Surfers ear (Exostosis) is a common but preventable condition of the ear canal. In the UK waters it is six times more common than in the tropics and the more frequently you surf the more likely you are to develop it. It can become apparent after as little as five years of regular surfing.

The combination of wind and wet skin promotes bony growths within the ear and results in partial or full blockage of the ear canal, trapping water and debris which can cause painful ear infections. A feeling of fullness or difficulty clearing water from the ears after surfing is a clear indication of developing Surfers Ear as is painful or recurrent ear infections.

The problem has increased with improvements in modern wetsuits design; surfers are in the water for longer, especially during the winter when lower temperatures and prevailing winds create higher risk.

In severe and advanced cases of Surfers Ear the narrowing can create deafness and the only treatment is by a surgical operation called a ‘Canaloplasty’ where the surgeon digs a hole in the bone behind the ear and drills out the bony lumps. New methods of surgery are also emerging including ear canal ‘chipping’ techniques however, either operation should be a last resort as it can be painful, carries the risk of complications and will put you out of the water for at least two months, and if you don't continue to protect the ear it will return. Prevent this happening and get fitted with Surfplugs™.