Surfer's ear discussion

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by Wavestrom, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Wavestrom

    Wavestrom Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2014
    To keep the who's been surfing thread on point, here's a surfer's ear thread.

    What's the correlation between water temps and frequency? I surf 2-3 a month in New England and generally skip mid-Jan through late March and go skiing while the water is below 38˚. I think that's not frequent enough to worry about surfer's ear (could be wrong obvs.)

    Who here has had it and how often were you surfing when you got it?
  2. SkegLegs

    SkegLegs Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    I have it and it sucks. Pretty bad on one side. It's not just cold cold water that affects it. Even prolonged exposed in the 60 range can get you screwed. Mitchell has had both sides drilled. Walked around looking like an Olympic wrestler for a whole winter, it sucks.

  3. Yankkee

    Yankkee Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2017
    It’s wind combined with ocean. Doesn’t matter, cold or tropical water temps. Wear earplugs.
    MrBigglesworth likes this.
  4. NICAfiend

    NICAfiend Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2012
    I don't know if it's because I'm in the water so much, old age or what but I've always had some type of ear problems whether it be surfers ear, swimmers ear or just water that won't come out. I generally wear ear plugs but especially so if I'm donning a hood. It does the trick for me. I use Doc's Pro Plugs but I routinely hear other people bitch about them....they fit me great though. The only downside to this is being in the water with people who want to talk a lot but the more I think about it that may be an extra bonus :)
  5. Yankkee

    Yankkee Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2017
    I wear Surf Ears plugs. I think they’re an Aussie brand?

    Side benefit of losing my hearing over the yrs was my seemingly rapidly increasing inability to hear my then-wife complaining about everything.
  6. Swellinfo

    Swellinfo Administrator

    May 19, 2006
    Docs have told me I have surfers ears (ear canal is closed off), but it doesn't affect me too much at this point. I use Surf Ears, and they are the best earplugs I've tried. For the most part, they are comfortable, they give you 3 size options to use, but even still sometimes they get suctioned in my ears, which makes it hard to hear and becomes uncomfortable.

    The biggest reason, I wear the plugs, is because if I don't, I tend to get water stuck in the ears, and it leads to ear infections. This happens in summer or winter, so I try to wear them whenever I surf. If its small, and I'm not getting tossed around a lot, I sometimes don't wear them, but most other times, I will.
  7. Zeroevol

    Zeroevol Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    Knock on wood, I have never had an issue with any of this.
    MrBigglesworth likes this.
  8. mattinvb

    mattinvb Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    Read a medical journal article a few years back that stated if you are in water that is 60 or colder, you need to be wearing earplugs. No exceptions. My primary care physician said I had some narrowing a few years ago during a physical, and I started wearing plugs then. Haven’t had any worsening since, and now it’s just an excuse to not listen to my wife. Best plugs I have found are sorkys. They are the only ones that have not come out of my ear at some point.
    40 bucks but well worth it
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  9. smitty517

    smitty517 Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    I think I told this story on here before.

    My ears, just like some of you, are shit. I get regular ear infections. One winter (at least 10yrs ago) I felt something weird in my ear. I jammed a paper clip in it and something dislodged. My wife was able to dig it out (that's how I know she love me). She pulled out a small black rectangular object that was about half inch long but not real wide. Smelled like crap. Hard as rock. Dr said it was some calcified bone from surfing in cold water. Who knows. My ears were shit before the object emerged so didn't really make a difference. I had a pair of those $50 ear plugs that I wore for a while but lost them.

    I rinse my ears with 70/30 isopropyl alcohol to water after every session. I also put the antibiotic gel in my ears before dirty water session. Seems to help but i still get several infections a year that require real doctoring!

    Surfing sucks - all of you (especially in the mid Atlantic region) should quit - lol!
  10. Wavestrom

    Wavestrom Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2014
    I'm going to pick up a pair but to me the unclear part is the frequency of exposure which causes the problem. Seems like multiple days a week would obviously be a problem but weekend warrior surfing I'm not so sure. How often do you get out typically in colder months?
  11. Yankkee

    Yankkee Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2017
    What did you say....?

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  12. Swellinfo

    Swellinfo Administrator

    May 19, 2006
    Good call. Add some Peroxide to the Alcohol as well. Alcohol will dry out your ear, and the Peroxide will kill any bacteria. You can do 50/50 alcohol/peroxide after surf, and it will definitely help prevent infections.
  13. MrBigglesworth

    MrBigglesworth Well-Known Member

    Jun 29, 2018
    No lie, that’s my routine every Surf - capfull of isopropyl and a capfull of peroxide in a Dixie cup. Half in each ear. Get a lot of sand and debris in my ears and dont wanna get anymore issues started than I already have lol. Will definitely get those plugs though...why not?
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  14. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    The underwater hull cleaning guys who go in all kinds of shit water told me every night they do a 50 -50 hydrogen peroxide to alcohol mix. A couple of my friends like to put a tad of glycerin in it to keep their ears from drying out too much, but they are blond and fair skin.

    I have a more oily skin, I use white vinegar most of the time, hydrogen peroxide on top of that if it is bad, and rubbing alcohol on rare occasions.

    Here is the news alert. I never surfed cold water, and have the ear bone thing. My EMT told me as he was suctioning sand and seaweed and debris from me ear canals. Told me daily white vinegar douches will gradually break down the calcium deposits.

    I do not like to wear ear plugs due to years of martial arts and getting hit in the ears a few times or so. That's life brah. So I just do the white vinegar religiously.
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  15. mattinvb

    mattinvb Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    Every time there’s a decent bump in the water. Been surfing all year for over 20 years, and my dr noticed narrowing maybe 6 years ago.
    Wavestrom likes this.
  16. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    My Dr hasn't said anything to me yet... but I do feel like I have a bit of hearing loss, which is why I started wearing the plugs. They are actually fairly comfortable and I forget that I have them in unless someone is talking. I have the Surf Ears style plug, but found some cheap 10$ Chinese knockoffs a while ago and they are still good! they stay in amazingly well. Found em on amazon, although I tried to look for a new pair over summer and couldn't find them.

    I really only wear them when the air temps cooler or whenever the wind is honking. I don't ever wear them with a hood since water never really gets in. But I have to admit, I do forget them often since I don't wear them year round.

    If you havnt yet- it's worth the 50$, I'm not that old but I wish I would have started wearing them when I was younger.
    MrBigglesworth, be.ach.soon and DosXX like this.
  17. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
  18. DosXX

    DosXX Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    Cold water, even with a hood, makes the tinnitus in my left ear more pronounced. Ear plugs have been suggested. The tinnitus is not surf-related. It may be Navy aircraft carrier or shipyard related. Don't know. My Dad had something similar. Army artillery may have caused that.
    Had an ear exam by an ENT earlier this year. There was also significant hearing loss found in that ear, and an MRI was recommended. I didn't go through with it. MRIs are expensive, and insurance would pay only a portion of it. Getting a $2K-plus hearing aid would be the next step. Insurance doesn't pay for that.
  19. Yankkee

    Yankkee Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2017
    Hey DOS,
    And those are the Costco hearing aids, x2 units.

    I raged against it but finally had to do it, and paid for the top tech hearing aid devices - - $7k for the pair. As you stated insurance doesn’t pay a centavo. What a lobbyist scam!

    It sucks 8 ways from Sunday. I feel old. Having to wear these things, I feel old. No matter that the hearing center people tell me that there are rapidly increasing numbers of people in their 30’s using hearing aids. Due to military service (guns), and the earbud generation.
    It just sucks to have to wear these things.

    Other things that can cause hearing loss: painkillers; viagra & any of the other instant wood drugs; and it’s how you lived, has nothing to do with aging.

    If you were into motorcycles, racing cars, loud music, shrieking orgasming’re gonna have hearing loss in your later years if you don’t already.
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