My doctor said that I have surfer's ear. Basically, my ear canal is closing up due to long exposure to cold water. In the long term, it can affect your hearing because the sound waves are obstructed and can't reach your ear drum. He says that the only way to reverse it is to basically have the ear canal drilled out. He said that wearing ear plugs will help stop it from getting worse. Does anyone else have this problem? What have you heard?
I've had it for almost 10 years. I spent hours a day surfing and swimming from age 13-22. I don't think it has progressed in the last 10 years since I don't surf or competitively swim anymore.
My last check wtih the ENT: one ear is ~90%, the other ~50%. My hearing was tested about two years ago and was fine. I am holding off on any surgery. I want to find a doc who does a ton of these surgeries.. Here is a guy in Santa Cruz (where I am sure he gets lots of business)
I've had it in both ears since the 70's from surfing as well. It stopped progressing when I quit surfing all the time. In Mike's case his totally closed up (in fact I think Matt diagnosed it! :-)
I've heard the surgery is no fun from both Mike and some of my other friends who needed it done. Start with the ear plugs. I personally wouldn't do it until you have no choice. My only problem is these darn cell phones, that's the one thing I have a tough time hearing.
I have it. I got it from growing up in Santa Cruz surfing all the time. Everytime I go to the doc they say "you have really bad surfers ear." A friend of mine had the surgery done years ago when they peeled your ear back and drilled it out. I just read in the Santa Cruz Sentinel about Dr. Hetzler and how he uses a chisel instead of the old peel the ear back and drill (see the post from Bobby above). My problem is once I get water in my ear it takes a few days to drain out. I get muffled sound and a sharp pain. I use ear plugs now and keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol with me to dry up the water once inside my ear. I would only get surgery if I could't hear anymore. Board More/Work Less J$
Went to the doc yesterday, I have and ear infection caused by Lake Shasta water sitting in the ear for a couple days. Like the others say everytime they look in the ears the doc says it looks like I have knobby tires lining my ears. I can still hear pretty well I just need to use the rubbing alcohol that I carry in the boat more often.
I got it too, more in one ear than the other. Alcohol is good, but it is a bit harsh if you use it all the time. I heard of the vinegar mix too, I might try that next. It's a pain in the butt, but oh well, things could be a lot worse.