Surfers ear

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by cheyneskeezer, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. cheyneskeezer

    cheyneskeezer Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2017
    Long Beach CA
    im at the point where every time I put my head under water I get major water in my left ear. Sometimes it takes 2 days to clear out and drives me nuts.

    I’ve been told I have surfers ear by the doc but I’m reluctant to have the surgery. I’m 34 already suffer from hearing loss do to the loud nature of my work.

    All of it’s preventative I know and I’ve been lazy in that obviously.

    Any tricks to getting the water out of and when it gets in? It drives me nuts!

    Time to start wearing my earplugs every time I paddle out.... another thing I’m Horrible at
  2. Driftwood

    Driftwood Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Ear plugs are your friend. Keeping the water out and the canal warmer are perfect as a starting point.

    There are electric dryers that some swear by, but I have no experience with them. I do use one of those plastic bulbs - as much to get the air circulating as to remove the water directly. That works well on the rare occasions that I get water in my ear.

    If you go to Sways, and look up the old recipe, there is a vinegar/alcohol mix that I use pretty religiously in the winter. There are a lot of sceptics, and I understand the reasoning, but the percentage of my canals that are blocked has actually reduced over the past decade.

    Did the surgery at around 35 and didn't enjoy the process too much. But on the other hand, the auditive details of the world surrounding me were just amazing afterwards... there has been progress in the protocols so don't hesitate too much if it's actually needed!
  3. SdSurferguy

    SdSurferguy Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    Any particular reason why you are reluctant to do surgery?

    I’m a bit younger than you with exact same experience. Irresponsible and hated plugs. I Had my left ear surgery done in Oct 2018 and my right ear done NYE 2018. Happy New Ear!! For me it was easy surgery and recovery. They told me I would be out of work for 2 weeks, and I was back at work 2 days post surgery. I think most of the problems are encountered w older patients who have slower healing times and pain in recovery. If you can time it with good health insurance Benefits I would just get it over with. If you’re considering San Diego I would highly recommend Dr Holtel at Sharp. Avid surfer who really “gets it”
    And then wear ear plugs post surgery.

    I had the same problem w water in ear and would lay on my side and pour alcohol mix (described above) in each ear for a min or so. Then roll over to drain. If you run out freshwater would sometimes work too in a pinch.
  4. MrChristmas

    MrChristmas Active Member

    Dec 10, 2014
    USA California
    For instant relief go to Walgreens or CVS and get "Swim-Ear" Drops, clears out ears quickly. It is basically an alcohol mixture as mentioned above. I have also heard of people using a regiment of Hydrogen Peroxide to relieve the pain of Surfers Ear.
  5. cheyneskeezer

    cheyneskeezer Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2017
    Long Beach CA
    Just have heard long out of water recovery times and I’m the guy that never goes to dr or has anything fixed.... ignorant I know just how it is. Gonna look more into it
  6. SdSurferguy

    SdSurferguy Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    Totally understand that, I felt the same way. I don't like the idea of surgery at all, especially in my skull. I wouldn't call it ignorance, unless a doctor is recommending surgery you shouldn't be contemplating it. And get a second opinion (surgeons always recommend surgery). I waited a few years before finally getting it done (when I had hit my out-of-pocket max for the year early). My right ear was 95% closed and left ear was 90%. No infections but I was experiencing some hearing loss and trapped water.

    I think surfers often hear more about the negative stories than the positive (just like Yelp reviews lol). And the longer you wait, the harder it'll be (as you continue to get older, and as the ear continues to close up). Regarding the recovery time, I was told to be out of the water for 6 weeks, but at my 2 week post-op appointment the doc said 3 weeks out of the water was long enough. Again, the older you get, the slower you heal, the longer you're out.

    And yeah, Driftwood is spot on. I had no idea the world had so many noises. I still don't hear my wife, but I can hear every whir of the refrigerator motor. I remember my dad had the surgery about 25 years ago. Worst pain he ever felt. Took a month or more to recover. Technology and protocols have changed dramatically since then. Or maybe I just got lucky.

    Driftwood likes this.
  7. cheyneskeezer

    cheyneskeezer Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2017
    Long Beach CA
    Ha ha ha I always tell my wife to talk into my bad ear !
    Oldmanparker likes this.
  8. Shev

    Shev Member

    Jan 12, 2015
    Auro dri seems to work well as long as you use the drops soon after you get out of the water. Basically Isopropyl alcohol and glycerin. Unclogs ear quite well. I have the plastic bulb as well but never got it to work for me.
  9. garagefull

    garagefull Active Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    If you get the surgery, make sure the Dr uses the chisel method and not the drill. The drill is as loud as a jet engine in your ear for 60-90 minutes. Not good for your hearing and can contribute to tinnitus. Also, the chisel does much less collateral skin damage in the canal, so healing time is quicker.
    cheyneskeezer likes this.
  10. dingpatch

    dingpatch Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Florida USA

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