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-   -   ***Ear Injury Advice?*** (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=780205)

ryanw209 06-03-2010 9:34 AM

***Ear Injury Advice?***
So I took a slap Memorial day weekend and couldn't hear S**T out of my right ear. Went to the Doctor yesterday and I have a "perforation"(hole) in my "tympanic membrane"(eardrum). My doc said I'm going to need surgury to fix it and I can't clean my ear or swim for a while, which I laughed out loud and told her thats impossible since it's the beginning of wakeboard season and I'm going on a houseboat trip in a week. So against her wishes I'm going boarding today and was wondering how people deal with this injury? I bought those wax or silicone plugs to squish in my ear but I have a feeling they wont hold up to the job. Does anybody know of any better plugs so my ear wont get wet? Thanks!

psudy 06-03-2010 9:44 AM

Docs pro plugs are pretty good, but you will still get water in it. Inner ear infections are nothing to mess with. I would let it heal. I had tubes as a kid and have retorn the holes on both ears more times than I can count of both hands. Everytime I go out I have to wear plugs, although I have switched to a helmet with ear guards now. If you are going anyway, make sure you get some antibiotic drops. Don't make the mistake I did as a kid and put swimmers ear in it!

06-03-2010 9:46 AM

I know this will sound and maybe look sorta silly...but....my son also has this injury. We bought him a Ear Band It. Look it up. It doesn't look cool at all but I will tell you it works. He can swim and play and (he is 6) tube and is just fine. Look it up. I would wear it if it meant I could board. Also have you looked into helmet with the little flaps? That would cover the ear band it and still look ok, along with protect you more.

psudy 06-03-2010 10:21 AM

lol I had one of those. I got laughed at so bad it ended up in the lake.

06-03-2010 10:39 AM

lol yeah sorta bad, but 6 year olds don't get laughed at...but 35 year olds would. Anyway, worth not killing your eardrum IMO.

chaser 06-03-2010 10:58 AM

Not sure why you were told you would need an operation, unless it's a huge or complete tear. Most of the times the TM will heal on it's own. Seldom have to repair it. Also, see an audiologist and have them make you a custom pair of swim molds. They stay in and fit very tight. Get a bright color in case it did somehow come out. They do float. I'd guess about $75 for a pair. Worth it.

ryanw209 06-03-2010 11:44 AM

Chasin- My doc said I have a tear right in the middle if it and that it would need to be fixed but we'll see what the Specialist says tomorrow.

Paul&Scott- I have a helmet with flaps but my buddy was unloading the things out of the car for me while I was in the boat and didn't see my helmet. I didn't realise it until we were already boarding... figures....

psudy 06-03-2010 11:49 AM

Thats when it happens! I had earmolds made once. Lost them the first trip out. Docs pro plugs fit about the same and cost WAY less.

Michael 06-03-2010 11:59 AM

i got a bad ear infection once.. the wax plugs and a duck taped ear worked pretty good for me.

joe_crawley 06-03-2010 4:04 PM

I blew mine 3 times in 5 years before I started wearing an ace wake with ear flaps. I haven't had one since. If it were me I wouldn't even get near the water, regardless of a houseboat trip or anything else. A bad inner/middle ear infection and you won't ever need to worry about quality wakeboarding again, cause you'll have no balance. It may very well heal on it's own over about a month. However the surgery is brutal- and that ain't no joke. I would certainly get more than one opinion before opting for surgery. Good luck.

wake_upppp 06-03-2010 6:11 PM

Sorry to hear you blew your drum. Stay out of the water. Its nothing to mess with.

drewproses 06-03-2010 8:03 PM

I have also blown out both of my ear drums a few times. One time it was so bad that the next morning there was some mucus and blood on my pillow. Each time I saw a doctor but never needed any surgery. I would stay out of the water until your boat trip and then use ear plugs when you are in the water. One of the worst things you will need to watch out for is putting your head under water, the pressure can make it worse. My last one was almost healed and a bad fall put my head a few feet under and "pop" right back to square one. About the whole helmet with ear flaps thing, the last time i blew out my eardrum I was wearing a helmet with ear flaps...

waketowake 06-03-2010 8:08 PM

Seriously just went to the doc yesterday about this. My docs advice was "don't fall". But definitely stay out of the water mines feeling better, and ive only stayed out 4 days.

ryanw209 06-03-2010 8:55 PM

Andrew- I'm suprized to hear you blew it even with the ear flaps.

I accually went riding today but took it pretty easy. I wore the wax plugs with my helmet and was pretty happy with the out come. They seemed to stay pretty tight. I'll keep you all posted on what my doc says tomorrow....

06-03-2010 9:36 PM

^^^^ "Don't Fall"....the best advice I've read on WW all year! Take care on the houseboat trip...bring the duct tape just in case!

k9fxr 06-04-2010 7:09 PM

I have had numerous blown ear drums, including one with a Protec helmet with flaps and one wearing Doc ear plugs. I would still recommend the Docs, I dont ride without them.

ryanw209 06-04-2010 7:55 PM

Alright so I went to the ENT specialist today and she said that the hole is small and will hopefully heal itself. I told her I'm going to be wakeboarding this weekend and she didn't seemed very worried as long as I wore an earplug. I had them custom make me one for $13 and I'm going back to see her in a month.

To everyone that has doc's- How do you know what size your ear is?

johnny_defacto 06-04-2010 8:17 PM

rock a pink "ear bandit", ladies love pink

06-04-2010 9:09 PM

Glad to hear the news was good. I'm still counting on riding with you when I get back from WCC! Have fun houseboating.

gene3x 06-05-2010 5:58 AM

Ruptured mine 3 times now. The worst part: Puss, Blood, and ruined pillows night after night. I now have a dedicated puss & blood pillow. lol

k9fxr 06-05-2010 6:59 AM

To fit the docs, either go to a retailer, they have a kit to fit you
Or buy a multikit with different sizes.
My local dive shop has them,
get a back up, even the correct size can fall out

An get vented, you can still hear and putting them in and out wont pull on your drum and disrupt hearing

aliwake 06-08-2010 5:37 PM

glad to hear your ENT was a bit more sensible than your dr! surgery is pretty uncommon. I burst my eardrum a couple of years ago and it took 4 months to heal up!! was really frustrating. the ENT wasn't even going to consider surgery until it'd had 6 months to heal up first. I found that mouldable silicon earplugs was the best thing to get a completely watertight seal. I had the docs plugs and they were ok, but not completely watertight. I just used them for showering cos they were easy.

k9fxr 06-08-2010 6:40 PM

Yeah, my point on the Doc Proplugs was for prevention. When I had a tear I used vaseline on cotton under the proplugs to make it water tight

ryanw209 06-09-2010 6:37 AM

Anyone think regular foam earplugs would work better than the silicone? It seems like since they expand in your ear they would make a very tight fit. I'm pretty sure water is still getting in my ear even with the custom made one.....

waketowake 06-09-2010 7:33 AM

I found some at cvs(Howard Leight hearing protection) i bought them because they were for swimming, but they work really well. I went surfing with them, and they didn't fall out. Plus no water got in my ear. I wake boarded in them once and they didn't fall out, but i didn't take any bad spills.

stuntmonkey 06-09-2010 10:43 AM

Ryan - you want vented because when you put the foam ones in they will trap a pocket of air inside your ear, and then when you land hard or whatever it can cause the rupture.

Don't mess with your hearing bros, I'm partially deaf now because I did, can't use a telephone or CB/RT Radios etc. Sucks BALLS.

geogilbert 06-09-2010 11:34 AM

Well, I had a fall about 2 months ago and blew my ear drum. Started on antibiotics the next day. Even then ended up with an inner ear infection that may have ended my wakeboarding forever.

Seriously dont screw around with a blown eardrum. If you get an inner ear infection and it goes bad you may never ride again and frankly that will be the least of your concerns.

2 months after my injury I still cannot stand up straight and close my eyes, cant move too fast without getting bad vertigo and I just started driving about 2 weeks ago.

If you blow an eardrum stay the hell out of the water for a week or two till it is healed.

gdavid 06-09-2010 11:35 AM

When my friend blew his eardrum wakeboarding we didn't realize what had happened and just thought he had water in his ear. So we tried putting hydrogen peroxide in it and then rubbing alcohol. Both hurt him pretty bad and didn't help any. Who knew?

ryanw209 06-09-2010 3:27 PM

Damn geo that sucks. It sounds like my ear isn't as bad as yours but I'm doing pretty good so far. Thanks for all the info everyone. I'll check out some vented ear plugs if I can find some locally.

bonechip 06-09-2010 6:24 PM

just be careful;)

parkgirl 06-10-2010 6:35 AM


and also ask your dr. for antibiotic ear drops for after riding.

ryanw209 06-10-2010 7:48 AM

I would order some online but how am I supposed to know what size I am. I'm trying to find a local dealer that can size me. I asked about the ear drops and she said not to put anything in them.

wade_lewark 06-10-2010 8:29 AM

just watch out for Vertigo! Slapped my ear at Shasta last year and had some nasty Vertigo shortly after, could not walk/drive/board or anything. Like being tossed into a tornado, not fun... Lasted about 3 days then went away, but felt sea sick for like a week!

ride152 06-15-2010 8:21 AM

Blew mine on the first run on the first day of our houseboat trip last year. I couldn't hear well out of it and by balance was definetly affected. During the days, I would only surf to make sure I kept my head out of the water as much as possible and at night I would put pieces of toilet paper in it to help me keep my balance. Lots of beer + blown ear drum = greater drunk sensation .. lol

I went to the doc when I got back, was told not to go underwater or listen to any loud music for a month. I also had a hole in the middle of the drum and went back to the doc 30 days later, it was almost perfectly healed.

My advice is to surf and really take it easy on your trip. My ear is completely healed now, but I still have some problems adjusting to elevation when I fly or when I backflip off of anything higher than 10 feet. Not sure why, but I guess the way I enter the water or something. Like the rest of the guys here say, don't push it...... not really worth it.

btw - where are you houseboating at?

ryanw209 06-15-2010 9:06 AM

Nate- Thaks for the advice. We were houseboating on Shasta out of shasta lake marina. Oh man I had a blast! I only rode about 5-6 sets over the weekend and I felt pretty good. No vertigo or dizziness(except after consuming many beers and jello shots ;) I think my hearing is almost back to normal so I'm guessing it is healing up nicely.

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