Surfers fancy themselves as pretty cool individuals, frequently to be seen with tousled blonde hair and wetsuits strategically unzipped to the waist. Fortunately, nature has a sense of humour, so many of them will have Surfer’s Ear. It is caused when the ear becomes partially blocked with bony tissue, and it’s most commonly caused by exposure to cold water. The lining of the ear can be irritated by the cold water, causing over production of the bony substance under the lining of the ear canal. Loss of hearing is the key symptom, as is pain caused by the build up of earwax. This affects the drainage of the ear, allowing infections to develop. Ear plugs are the best way to prevent it forming, but if it’s already too late then a procedure called an exostectomy is performed to remove the boney debris, whilst antibiotics are utilised to clear any remaining infection.
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