Surfer's Ear - One Surfer's Perspective

How Do You Get Surfer's Ear?

There are a few factors that contribute to the bony growth inside your ear, known as Surfer's Ear. One of the most important is the temperature of the water. 

The growth of bone in your ear is a form of protection. The ear is exposed when surfing. In a bid to harbor itself from the elements, the bone starts growing to cover the exposed parts of the ear.

So when the water is cold, the bone tends to grow faster.

These days, most people wear surfing hoods to protect their ears while surfing. This solution does perhaps slow down the growth of surfer's ear, but does little to solve the problem. 

More info on Surfer's Ear  

The Factors That Exacerbate Surfer's Ear

Another factor tied into bone growth is the amount of time you spend in the water. Some people are in the water all day, just relentlessly pushing themselves to get their wave count up. Lucky people who can surf all day, but unlucky for them, this also means accelerated growth of surfer's ear.

One of the methods to quell the bone growth and to slow down the symptoms is by the simple application of the correct ear drops.

Surfer's ear symptoms are plentiful. When the ear is nearly closed, it sometimes traps water in the ear. This water is not harmful, but it tends to make the ear go soggy reasonably quickly, and this soon turns into an infection and a symptom of 'squelching' in your ear canal.

Surfer's ear describes the bone growth as well as the possible infection, including the dirt, sand or ear wax closing the already partially closed ear, resulting in various forms of deafness.

Ear infections explained here.

It not uncommon for someone with Surfers Ear to rub sunscreen all over the faces and ears, go for a surf, have a few wipeouts and get some sand or dirt in the ear results in a very simple surfer's ear symptom of being deaf. 

Preventative Methods for Surfer's Ear

An excellent preventative method of keeping surfers ear and the stock standard surfer's ear symptoms at bay is to keep the ear dry. There are several methods of keeping your ear canals dry, including toweling dry, blowing dry, and inserting surfer's ear drops, that dries them from the inside.

Toweling dry is an excellent default, but sometimes it's hard to get far enough inside the ear to effectively dry the ear. People also tend to forget, or to get a little lazy, and not consistently dry the ears out after every swim, bath, surf or shower.

Dry blowing the ears is also a great option, but you need a hairdryer, or a smaller, purpose-built dryer with you at all times. Nowadays you can get them that charge off a car cigarette lighter, but they tend to be expensive, and very few people have them.

Surfers Ear Drops are not infallible, but they are the best method that can be used quickly and consistently at the beach or the pool, or even if you're an open water swimmer having a go in dams or down rivers.

Alcohol Can Help 

The alcohol thins the liquid out, to make it slightly more runny than the water, which enables it to trickle down inside the ear, reaching little hidden droplets of water trapped inside the ear.

Then the Surfers Ear Drops mixes with the trapped water. And after a while the alcohol content in the mix dries out the ear and the trapped water, making the ear as dry as can be.

It's as simple as that to prevent, or delay, surfer's ear surgery.