December 7, 2022

Lepet It Bistrot

Caring for Life

The Surfing Injury You Rarely Hear About: Surfer’s Ear

2 min read

While just about every surfer has spun a tale or two about surf injuries—a board to the back of the head, a hand sliced on a fin, a dislocated joint just after a specifically violent closeout—these injuries are truly somewhat uncommon.

There is a surf illness significantly more frequent, much fewer mentioned, and perhaps considerably more risky: exostosis (aka surfer’s ear). It is a issue that affects shut to one out of just about every a few surfers and, if untreated, can cause pain and critical hearing decline.

The problem is induced by prolonged publicity to chilly drinking water and affects both equally young and old surfers. When the ear canal is irritated around a extensive period of time of time, it responds by growing bone, properly narrowing the canal and producing hearing decline.

Finally, this bone development results in being so pronounced that it can guide to overall hearing decline and can be handled only by slicing out or shaving down the bony development, a process that demands a six- to 8-7 days restoration.

surfer's ear
A nutritious ear (leading) vs. surfer’s ear (bottom). Photograph: struna/Shutterstock

“As we have made incredibly good wetsuits and surf year-spherical in colder and colder drinking water, the discomfort from the chilly drinking water is producing exostosis, or surfer’s ear,” suggests Dr. Ken Fujioka, a San Diego–based doctor and avid surfer who has been through surfer’s ear surgeries on every ear. “I don’t know why we don’t hear about it more.”

In addition to top to hearing decline, the growths also trap drinking water and cause recurrent bacterial infections, which can be specifically harmful for those shelling out extended periods in the surf. Now that wetsuits are extending seasons longer and longer, that risk is amplified, even for younger surfers.

Medical procedures is the only actual “cure” for surfer’s ear, but Fujioka notes that avoidance is most likely the ideal type of remedy.

See those fellas in the lineup sporting the earplugs? Quite a few, if not all of them, are hoping to reduce surfer’s ear and some major healthcare head aches.

For those who assume earplugs impair hearing, a several corporations, like SurfEars out of Sweden, have made surf-specific plugs that permit seem waves in while retaining the actual waves out.

Fujioka is not sure why there is so very little publicity surrounding the ear damage, provided its prevalence in the surf neighborhood, but thinks that surfer’s ear will go on to expand as the activity results in being more common all-around the globe.

“I am astonished at the selection of surfers that do not put on earplugs (my son integrated), and know surfer’s ear is no joke,” suggests Fujioka. “I have had the surgeries myself and I could not surf it was no entertaining.”


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