Forums > Windsurfing   South Australia


Created by HAIL 8 months ago, 12 May 2018
SA, 1157 posts
12 May 2018 2:15PM
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Has anyone had any experience with bad surfers ear?? looking at having the surgery and getting them drilled out as I haven't been able to hear properly for three weeks. Would love to hears anyone's experience or solutions! being stuck in the country makes it hard to see specialists etc. Thanks in advance!

QLD, 1285 posts
12 May 2018 3:07PM
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But how are you going to hear our solutions if you can't hear? hahah.
I had major ear problems a few years back in Sydney.
Found it to be due to cold water.Get yourself some SurfEars and you'll be good.
Or if you don't mind missing out on the carpark banter, use bluetac

SA, 16 posts
13 May 2018 9:22AM
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yeah had one done about 10yrs ago at mt barker hospital, overnight in hospital, think I had the hammer and chisel method, cut my ear away to get at canal, then stiched up. a few follow up visits, cause there was some fungas to kill off, think I was out water for 3months, I always now have ear plugs, or hoody with helmet over top and use swimmers ear drops if water gets in. good luck

SA, 1157 posts
13 May 2018 10:37AM
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Thanks for the info. Ordered a pair of Surfears yesterday. Hope they may help in then future. Looking into getting into Flinders private in June. 3 months out the water is bearable. I was thinking more like 9 months out.

VIC, 4067 posts
14 May 2018 11:01AM
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Short answer, talk to your surgeon. They're the one who will be giving the instructions.

Longer answer. I put off having ear surgery for years because everything you read says, "Only do it as a last resort. Blah blah blah." All bull****.

I had a minor problem with infections, but a major problem getting water out of my ears. Swimmers ear drops irritated my ears so they were no help.

Eventually went to the surgeon and he said I should have come 10 years ago. What would have been a minor operation was going to be a major one. My ear canal was more than 90% blocked. That had very little effect on my hearing, but it did mean stuff got stuck.

My surgeon had a good reputation but surfer's ear was not his specialty. I looked into finding a surgeon who did lots of surfer's ear operations and it was a pain in the bum. They're all "the best surgeon in ....".

There is a risk of facial paralysis if the nerve is damaged during the surgery. My surgeon used a nerve monitor that shows if the facial nerve is at risk. It cost a little more but nothing in the scheme of things.

The surgery was simply open the skin inside the ear canal, then drill out the bone with an overpriced Dremmell tool.

The surgeon said the bone was encroaching on the ear drum so he did not clear away the last part. That doesn't seem to be a problem. Water drains out just fine.

My surgery took 3 hours. As a result of the noise of the drill I now have tinnitus. It's permanent. It was annoying at first but now I barely notice it. There is no treatment for it.

The surgery and the healing was a non-event. The worst part was I had to share a room and the guy next to me was snoring.

I had to keep the ear dry for several weeks so I had showers with a very attractive shower cap. It really turned on the missus ...

Once I got back in the water I tried all sorts of ear plugs. Cheap silicone swimming plugs were the best. Blue tack or wax is pretty good but you have to change them fairly frequently. Grease and gunge makes them not seal properly.

Surfears are garbage. They only work if you have a perfectly cylindrical ear canal. If you have nodes then they just don't seal. They're also quite hard so they hurt. I hate them. You can have mine.

Generally I don't worry too much about getting water in my ear. I wash down with warm water after each session and flush my ear. I wear a hat with ear covers.

The best thing for cold weather is a wetsuit with a hood and a draw string around the face. Pull it tight and I stay almost completely dry.

SA, 1157 posts
17 May 2018 12:50PM
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Thanks for the Info. Booked in for the 12th with a specialist. See what he has to say. Have been told previously there is only 10% canal left. Sounds like I may be in the same boat! Cheers

SA, 169 posts
18 May 2018 10:09PM
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Gorgo has it pretty well nailed there. It's a surprisingly risky procedure, due to risks of damage to the ear drum and some of the nearby nerves that go to the face and tongue etc. I've got nodules in my right ear canal, and it's more complicated by my canals already being narrow and curved. An ENT surgeon mate had a look a few years ago and recommended I do nothing unless I was having chronic problems. I get a bit of water retention from time to time but still nothing chronic to worry about...

If it were me, I'd get a couple of opinions if possible.

SA, 708 posts
19 May 2018 8:47AM
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That's nothing Chris ,
Try and have labyrinthitis for 6 months then get back to me


Forums > Windsurfing   South Australia

"Ears" started by HAIL