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  1. #21
    Hooded. if you don't need it, flip it back. I'd wear my hood paddling out, then pull it off. make sure it has a bill, it helps pulling it back over.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    milton delaware
    Posts
    1,408
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    262
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddington Jetty Bear View Post
    How uncomfortable is the recovery period? Be detailed.

    How bad did you get before you went in to get the drilling? Symptoms?
    Surfers ear is bone/cartilage growth (resulting from prolonged exposure to cold water/air) inside your ear canal that drastically reduces its diameter and can ultimately close it. (The surgeon described to me that a normal diameter is about that of a pencil and both of my canals had closed in to the diameter of a pencil lead.) For about the past 5-6 years, about once every few months i would get water/wax/sand (I think its actually earwax and sand grains that close it and water is trapped inside) that caused total blockage in one ear or the other at random. Not wearing a plug, or losing one during a surf was usually the cause. It's annoying to lose hearing in one ear even for just a few days, due to the blockage. Once blocked, infection sets in, and the routine was hydrogen peroxide and antibiotics to loosen the wax, kill the infection, get the ear opened. It wasnt the end of the world but an ear surgeon told me that the more the canal closes up the riskier the surgery (less of a pathway to guide the drill). Its still a very low-risk procedure, I'm told.

    I had the right ear surgery December 19. They knock you out with general anethesia, and drill it back to a normal diameter removing all of the bone growth. You now have exposed bone without skin protection, so infection is a risk. They pack the ear canal with gauze soaked with antibiotic gel. NO HEARING for several weeks and the INCREDIBLY ANNOYING sensation of having a sock stuffed in your ear because you do! After about a week the desire to reach in and pull it out is constant and quite irritating. For me there was not much pain after about the first 24 hours. After about 4 weeks the surgeon removed the gauze packing, said the healing was going well. Hearing is back! For another 4 weeks just antibiotic eardrops. A total of 9 weeks after the surgery, the doctor said i could start surfing again.

    I hated the entire ordeal and swore I would not get the surgery on my left ear, but this summer I have already had two multi-day blockages in my left ear, so I will probably end up doing the left ear this winter in late December.
    Last edited by mitchell; Aug 28, 2013 at 08:02 PM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    central li, topsail island nc
    Posts
    174
    Quote Originally Posted by nynj View Post
    Get it w/o the hood.. and get a hooded vest. You will have days when you don't want the hood... You will also have days when a 3/2 wit the hood is all you need.
    hooded vests suck under drylocks.. just saying.. get the hood and pull it down if too warm.. i have both hooded and non.. i wear the hooded one a lot more

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    sea
    Posts
    1,539
    I don't think I surf that much in the winter to get surfers ear.i heard plenty of stories about it but im only in the water maybe 5x a year each winter depending on swells,and im only out for an hour.maybe if you surf all day in the winter it would be wise to use plugs.3/2s suck,only good for summer.i rented 1 from ronjon surfshop in December like 8yrs ago,i had a 12hr rental,by the time I drove to my break it was 4hrs in.tried going out and nearly died of hypothermia,i was so pissed they gave me a 3/2 rj suit(maybe if It was Patagonia,wouldve been ok).I didn't have time or the patience to drive it back to lbi so I shipped it back in a box.dont know if they ever got it.i rock a 4/3 hyperflex all yr long,have one of those hooded vests.id lke to get a heated vest one day when I hit the lotto.5/4/3s are expensive,but u get quality stuff,cheaper suits like mine only last a few yrs

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    UGHHH! :(
    Posts
    314
    I was looking at Patagonia 5/4/3's today. $650.... I would rather buy a $200 hyperflex and order Takayama egg or mini special.

  6. #26
    If you are buying a winter wetsuit - get the hooded one- Chich has it right slide it back if you are hot. Suits with an integral hood are much warmer than just adding a separate hood

    I've had both of my ears drilled for Surfers Ear- left one in 98, right one about 3 years later. I spent a lot of years surfing before I knew about surfers ear and hoods weren't too common back then.
    Mitchell described the experience pretty well - but left out the fact that (at least the way they did my surgeries) they slice the ear off to come in from behind and get a better angle to drill the ear canal. Eating is uncomfortable initially with all that sh-t stuffed in the ear canal too

    Not using hoods in mid 40 degree water is asking for trouble, surfing winters will probably catch up to you sooner or later - no need to accelerate the process.

  7. #27
    get a hooded suit. If you don't, you're gonna be wearing a "squid lid" anyhow (looks dorky, doesn't warm your neck and can give a pretty nasty rash).

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    40
    4/3 O'Neill Mutant with detachable hood.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by K-Dog View Post
    4/3 O'Neill Mutant with detachable hood.
    Exactly. Best of both worlds, and a damn good suit overall. Better deals in the spring...

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    milton delaware
    Posts
    1,408
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    262
    Quote Originally Posted by JTS View Post
    Mitchell described the experience pretty well - but left out the fact that (at least the way they did my surgeries) they slice the ear off to come in from behind and get a better angle to drill the ear canal. Eating is uncomfortable initially with all that sh-t stuffed in the ear canal too
    JTS- my surgeon mentioned that they might have to do mine that way, and that they couldnt be 100% sure until they actually started the procedure, but he didnt end up needing to move my outer ear out of the way.

    So let me ask you this: 10-15 years later, are you symptom free? Have you continued to surf year around?