Surfers Ear

mackemabroad's picture
mackemabroad started the topic in Friday, 8 Mar 2019 at 11:06am

Just got the news i have to get an ear drilled due to Surfers Ear (exostosis). Doc was pretty useless in terms of recovery however he gave me a list of side effects that was pretty unnerving. Anyone got any experience/info, tipping a few on here have!

Back-hander's picture
Back-hander's picture
Back-hander commented Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 at 5:39am

You'll be out of the water for about 2 months. While you are recovering you won't want to socialise in noisy situations, as you can't hear conversations due to the packing in that ear. It will feel amazing when they finally take the packing out and you can hear again. It's interesting how you need both ears to be able to tune out background noise.
Wear earplugs from then on when surfing as once you've had the operation, you have more chance of it growing back if you don't look after your ears. Wear a hat that covers your ears when it's cold and windy.
You only want to have that operation as few a times as you can.
I didn't listen to my own advice and have had one ear done 3 times and the other 2 times.

H2O's picture
H2O's picture
H2O commented Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 at 12:26pm

There are several posts re this in another forum topic, Couldn't find it on a quick search. Stu?
I've had both ears done. Backhanders advice spot on - they do grow back.
Try Surfears plugs .

H20

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 at 3:23pm
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 1:22pm

mackemabroad wrote: Just got the news i have to get an ear drilled due to Surfers Ear (exostosis). Doc was pretty useless in terms of recovery however he gave me a list of side effects that was pretty unnerving. Anyone got any experience/info, tipping a few on here have!
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 1:28pm

I had left ear done last year and right ear 1 week ago , last time 2 months out of water and $5000 poorer , same again this time . Im 58 and surfed since 10 , had ear problems for 15 years but was afraid of surgery because of horror stories, they have come along way with procedures and l haven’t had any problems. Dr said l will be dead before the bone grows back so lm not bothering with plugs as l hate them but have heard of people having surgery up to 3 times omg . Dr told me it won’t make any difference to hearing but l won’t suffer ear infections or water trapped which used to send me insane. Good luck with everything and hope you have insurance because I’m $10,000 poorer

factotum's picture
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factotum commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 1:51pm

Supes, mate, I hear ya. No pun intended! Both ears done. No complications. Been using Blu Tac, but I'm over it. Not as old, but maybe I can get away with it. I'm half deaf in one anyway from a radical ear infection in Thailand. Oh, I had insurance too. No extra $$$$ pain. Good luck to all.

mattsyd's picture
mattsyd's picture
mattsyd commented Thursday, 27 Jun 2019 at 9:29pm

I've just started to wear plugs as a preventative.

Can some school me here please.. how cold is cold in terms of when I should wear them or it's safe to leave at home.

Like right now in Sydney for example, the water temp is still around 20 I think, but the wind chill on those early mornings is cold so I wear them.. but then today it was warmish outside the water so i didn't bother.

Do you guys just wear em all the time?

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Friday, 28 Jun 2019 at 3:10am

Mattsyd- the wind is half the issue, cold water the other half.

Im SA so cant help you on temps sorry.

I use blu-tac all year round as protection from listening to all the BS that gets talked out in the surf.

Also good for ear drum perforation protection.

All year round in SA!

Ride anything.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 28 Jun 2019 at 8:46am

I wear silicone plugs all year round, winter and summer.

It's almost like driving without a seatbelt now, i feel kinda uncomfortable without them.

1173

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 16 Aug 2019 at 9:29am
grady.hale's picture
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grady.hale commented Wednesday, 21 Aug 2019 at 12:51am

Have a question I haven't come across. I have been surfing in N. Fla for the last 30 years. I was told about 10 years ago that I have "surfers ear." I just noticed that I had lost hearing in that ear and have the tinnitus. I haven't put much thought into surgery or anything until recently. I got SCUBA certified about 4 years ago and had problems then clearing my left ear. I recently took a free diving class in South Florida and wasn't even able to get down below 15' without pain. Does anyone know if the surfers ear could be causing me the problem equalizing in my left ear. I have no problem getting my right ear to clear. I have an appointment with an ENT in 2 months to get a further evaluation. Just wondering if anyone has been down this road.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Wednesday, 21 Aug 2019 at 8:58am

Most likely, my right ear blocks if there is any hint of moisture combined with a small amount of wax.

Like Zen I always use blue tack all year round

bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 8:56pm

Just had my right ear done a couple a few weeks ago and have a lot of crackling squishy noise when i open or close mouth , especially chewing. No infection or anything. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Cheers.

icandig's picture
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icandig commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 4:13pm

Hey Bruce. You're only two weeks in so it should settle over time - I hope. I had surgery 3 years ago and had some weird noises for a while along with some odd sensations opening and closing mouth. Pretty much OK now. I just had the right ear done 4 days ago....was feeling pretty wobbly and sleepy until today.

MidWestMonger's picture
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MidWestMonger commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 4:57pm

I use plugs all the time now after my surgery. I was buying TC's brand for $60 a pop, getting a year maybe out of them. Then i started using disposable types from work, costs me nothing and works a treat. Wear a hood as well to keep them from getting blasted out. Yes you cant hear much but im not out there to talk or listen to others. That packing finally coming out after the surgery was gross but such a relief. All the best

kirwoods's picture
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kirwoods commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 6:46pm

Hi Bruce,

Had my right ear done July 15 this year and it's definitely a slow recovery. It's close to 100% now. Best thing to do is contact your ENT to lock in an appt if you don't lready have one in place. Apparenty there can be some heat transference into the jaw bone from the drill..

bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 7:51pm

Cheers man. Yea its all a bit weird. Was meant to have it done 10 years ago but chickened out! Ended up being a 4 and half hour opp with a small perforation. Happy to still have some hearing left. It almost feel like your jaw is out of alignment sometimes. Being a pussy doesn't help. lol

bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 7:57pm

Cheers mate. Bought some surfears and hope they will work out ok. Hate the feeling a hood gives you so pretty sure plugs will be worse. In NZ so summers ok just winter . Now 13-14 degree C (winter here) So will just have to get used to them I guess. Fucked if I want to do the other ear ..yet!

bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet commented Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 8:04pm

July 15. Same as me. My 60th birthday present! That is interesting RE heat transference. Was a long opp. She has done a shit load and commented this was the worst she had come across 100 blocked. Will have to check that out. Good info . Thank you. Mine far from fine as of now.

kirwoods's picture
kirwoods's picture
kirwoods commented Sunday, 16 Aug 2020 at 7:38pm

Jeez that's a rough birthday present! My ENT said the same thing re: bad bone growth down to the drum.. however I do wonder about the small perforation you have and whether or not that is contributing to the other weird sensations..
Please keep the forum updated..

bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet's picture
bruce.greet commented Friday, 4 Sep 2020 at 8:52am

Will keep updated. She said the perforation had healed up .. Will see. Cheers.

OK Update. Had op on 15 th July now 9th Sept. Had final suck out /clean and am oked for surfing. To be fair it doesnt feel ready. So will give it a couple of weeks..fine as surf is flat and we are heading into spring so hope water will warm up a degree or too. Perforation healed well. Things they dont tell you. When you have the gunk they put in your ear you could swear there was something hard stuck in there that certainly doesnt feel like ointment. (for me anyway). My jaw is still sore and hurts at night when you sleep on that side or chew into some good old sour dough crust! Guess it will take a month or two too fully settle down. Would say I have lost a bit of high frequency hearing after opp. Teacher so really notice it when kids talk to me on that side. Was better even with 100% block even though volume was down a bit due to loss of conductivity from obstruction. They say you may loose some HF hearing ( from drill)but is mostly undetectable in general use.
Overall. I was told I had to have it done so really didnt have much option. Better if I had protected it in the years before! Even just wearing a hood in winter would have helped a load. Bought myself some surfears and hope like fuck they are wearable. Hate things stuck in my ears when in water but... Ask your surgeon what you might experience symptom wise after the surgery . Mine didnt and it was . WTF is happening now. All worked out ok. Will be woth it not having water stuck in there and drowning myself with Vosol after every surf. NB Never put dog ear drops in your ear. Evidently they are not fit for humans!! lol. Did that about 20 years ago when staying with friends who had a Newfoundland with ear canker. Seemed a sound idea at the time. Swelled shut like a drum in 2 minutes. Doctor very unimpressed. Ha.
We have free health care so Sweet. A mate went private and paid 16,000 nz for same opp and is going to pay 40,000nz for laser on the other. Crazy money.
Thanks for comments and advice.
Bruce.