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
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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

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stunet commented Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 at 3:23pm
Supafreak's picture
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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!

Peace

zenagain's picture
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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

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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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

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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
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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

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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!

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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.

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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
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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.

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bruce.greet commented Monday, 5 Oct 2020 at 11:08am

Update #2 Well a month along from last post. Might have jumped the gun a bit on last post. Everytime I close or open my mouth I get a loud rubbing noise in that ear. If I open my jaw wide it gets clearer or if I move my jaw towards the opposite side of the ear it clears and I can open and close it without that f###en noise. I also now have Autophony , where you here your voice reverberating in your head. Also have a pressure feeling in that ear when closed. Feel like I need to equalise all the time. Just or fun I noticed that my jaw closes on the other side first. ie upper and lower teeth are not meeting at same time. Of course the surgeon says its nothing and will go away. Don't think so! Been 12 weeks now. Might be time for a second opinion. Surgeon may be freaking a bit as the consent form was 5 months out of date! Go in tomorrow for prob wrap up visit. She will not enjoy it! Classic fucked up your tmj symptoms I would say. Thoughts or similiar experiences? Churs and cheers. Bruce

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Bnkref commented Monday, 5 Oct 2020 at 1:22pm

Good luck Bruce. Sounds like a a nightmare.

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icandig commented Monday, 5 Oct 2020 at 1:27pm

Hey Bruce. I'm now 7 weeks post op. The first week was pretty horrendous - mostly throat pain from intubation but also generally feeling crap. Other than that, a slow process of feeling better week by week. Still some weird, but mild feelings in the right side of my face, but anticipate full recovery. Only real side effect is 5 extra kgs around my guts. Time to sort that out. Sounds like you've had a rough time - hope it sorts out for you.

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frog commented Monday, 5 Oct 2020 at 1:31pm

I have heard that once you have the operation, the growth happens much faster the second time (fresh new exposed bone trying to protect itself).

I use blu tac and hate the feeling of water flushing in my ear to the point that I have stuffed a scrunched up a bit of plastic bag in my ear when I was caught without blu tac. You get used to blu tac and it is great peeling it out after a surf and having damp ears but no water deep inside. Worth getting used to it.

I have free dived to about 10 metres deep with it in (a big fat chunk so it won't get pushed in) so no need to clear ears. But would not go deeper than that.

I can't believe the big wave surfers don't use it and end up with blown out ear drums. Occy has tinnitus for life after one wipeout at Pipe. A good wad of it in big surf is safe and protects them.

Frogg

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icandig commented Monday, 5 Oct 2020 at 1:44pm

Had my left ear done twice. Around 15 years apart - last time 3 years ago. Right ear once - this year. If you get the right surgeon - and I believe I did the second and third time, apparently it shouldn't grow back as easily. I may be wrong but I think it has something to do with drilling the bone back and leaving the skin flap in tact as close to original as possible. I hate blue tac - surf ears seem to do the job for me.

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dead kennedy commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 3:04pm

I have pretty bad surfers ear in my left ear (about 80% blockage) and after getting water stuck in there surfing this week I am dealing with a severe ear infection. A doctors appointment today revealed that there is pus pushing from behind my eardrum. Currently taking strong antibiotics but the doctor said there is a high chance my eardrum will burst in the next 12 hours.

Has anyone here experienced anything like this before or have any advice to prevent it in the future? I wear blutac every surf but occasionally still get water stuck in my ears after a wipeout. I am fairly worried about a ruptured eardrum as i've heard it can be a pretty long recovery with 6+ weeks out of the water.

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Taprobane commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 6:43pm

I have used Blu-Tac and plugs (not together) for the last 30 years. One thing I do after every time in the water is to use AquaEar. I think with surfing your bound to get some water in your ears even with plugs but the AquaEar really dries em out and probably good for the bugs too.

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Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 6:53pm

The thing about surfer’s ear that doesn’t get much airtime is the way your ears are much more prone to getting blocked up with wax due to the narrowing of the ear canal.

I just endured another bout of this after all the humidity we’ve had recently. The best way I’ve found to sort it out is by drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide for a couple of days to dissolve the gunk on the outer part of the ear canal. If there’s still issues then fill a bowl with warm water and tip a good swig of hydrogen peroxide in before syringing the mix as hard as you can handle without rooting your eardrum. The hotter the water the better as long as it too doesn’t hurt.

Don’t give up easy . This last time took about 10 solid syringing in a row until a big chunk of wax came out. Dry your ears with Aquaear and let the stereophonic goodness flood your mind .

PS Not medical advice . I’m not a trained medical professional . But it works a treat for me.

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Supafreak commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 7:38pm

Wax build up is a terrible thing , I don’t have the problem anymore after op on both ears . I take my elderly mother to a ear specialist twice a year and they get some surgical tweezers and usually the wax is all clumped together and they pull it out in one hit , about the length and size of a cigarette butt, then they vacuum the rest . I myself do Hopi ear candles every 6 months, gets a fair bit out. Asked ear specialist about them and they didn’t recommend candles and said I also should get vacuumed every 6 months . The candles are a lot cheaper than a specialist though.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 7:47pm

Using Waxsol for two days then going to the doc to get the ear syringed works for me.
Same as blowins method really.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 7:47pm

Go to the Siloam on Sunset road when you get back to Bali . There’s an Ear Nose Throat specialist you can see without appointment. I got the vacuum with the video attached ( like an arthroscopy) within 30 minutes of walking in the hospital. It cost about $30.

I’d tried to get the same issue sorted in Australia - $50 visiting a GP in Perth ( after requiring a two week pre booking) just for the referral then the specialist appointment was shitloads more and shitloads longer wait.

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Supafreak commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 8:26pm

Yeah it’s bs the way you see a GP get referred then maybe get an appointment 2 weeks later , when I had my ears drilled it was 1 year before second op and I was all booked in but referrals are only good for 1 year so I had to go get another referral from GP , red tape bs , Siloam is a awesome hospital my wife had emergency c section there , I got the best room they had , 2 bedrooms with ensuite lounge kitchen massive tv for $150 AUD a night , got her parents in the extra bedroom and I slept on the couch , coming from a village in the mountains they were blown away lol c section cost me a fair wack though

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Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 8:28pm

Your joint in Indo looks pretty damn sweet.

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Supafreak commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 8:41pm

Yeah with my current job I get winter off , so from mid May to early September is usually indo time , my sister looks after mum for that time but fark it’s not looking good this year, booked to fly on 16 May just waiting for FStar to cancel

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davec commented Monday, 8 Feb 2021 at 12:53pm

Does anybody here know of any doctors that are using the laser method to treat exostosis in Australia? Or has anyone here had it done?
https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/surfers-ear-surgery-procedure-best/23070

I have seen a specialist that told me I need to get both of my ears done but i am reluctant to get them drilled after hearing of the possible complications.

I'm based on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria but prepared to travel interstate if it is worthwhile.

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Supafreak commented Monday, 8 Feb 2021 at 8:30pm

@davec , I highly recommend Dr Malouf , he drilled both my ears and has done hundreds of this type of surgery . He’s up to date with things so maybe email him and ask if he’s doing laser ? if he’s not doing it he may possibly know who is . He’s in Coolangatta 100 meters from big groin Kirra. https://maloufmedical.com.au/. There is video of procedure