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Surfer’s Ear is the name for the bony growth that occurs in the ear canal after cold water exposure and it can lead to hearing loss, recurrent infections or ear canal obstruction. Since the April Tax Day looms, how about reciting the things in life you can always count on? Surfer’s Ear is common in lovers of water activities and this is especially true for surfers. Hearing is the result of tiny and delicate instruments within the ears working with larger parts. Although the cause is mysterious, otosclerosis happens because there is abnormal bone growth around the ossicles (three tiny bones of the middle ear). The ossicles bones need to remain flexible for vibrations to be transmitted into sounds, but the abnormal growth that results from otosclerosis fixates one or more of these bones impeding hearing. The exact cause of the otosclerosis remains a mystery, but there are some factors thought to contribute to its likelihood.
Hereditary—otosclerosis can be inherited and is 25% more likely if one parent has it and 50% more likely if two parents have it. Pregnancy—otosclerosis is more common in pregnant women or women who’ve had multiple pregnancies. Viral—research suggests that there is a link between the emergence of this condition and exposure to certain viruses like measles. Although the exact cause of otosclerosis is a mystery, there are some things that are known.
Tinnitus—a buzzing, clicking, or whining sound within the ear when there is no noise present. Balance—loss of balance that may include nausea and feelings of vertigo is also a symptom of this condition. Otosclerosis is a mysterious condition, but that doesn't mean there aren't successful treatments that can reduce the bone growth and help to restore hearing loss.
A stapedectomy is ear surgery that can be done to treat hearing loss caused by a problem called otosclerosis.
This operation is used when the main cause of a hearing loss is decreased movement of the stapes (otosclerosis).
Some medicines (like aspirin) may increase your risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. You may or may not need to take your regular medicines the day of the procedure, depending on what they are and when you need to take them.
Your healthcare provider will tell you when to stop eating and drinking before the procedure. Your hearing may not be much better right after the surgery because of the packing put into your ear at the end of the procedure.
You may have dizziness, ringing or buzzing in your ear, or a change in taste for a while after the surgery.
You will have a hearing test 1 to 2 months after the surgery to see how well you are hearing. Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific, and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and otolaryngology. Do you have difficulty hearing and following conversations in noisy restaurants and crowded rooms? Untreated hearing loss affects your ability to understand speech, negatively impacting you socially and emotionally. As you know, your ears are pretty important to living a high quality life – they are the things which hear everything going on around you, help you keep balance and help you get around in life. That’s why you should want to take as much care of those precious aural organs as possible. Everyone’s hearing can be affected negatively by loud music, but some people are more sensitive to this damage than others. If you’re in the club or at a gig, make sure to keep a reasonable distance from the speakers and regularly step outside for a break. Some drugs can, believe it or not, damage your ears; these are called ototoxic drugs, and they can cause tinnitus and balance problems as well as hearing loss. Some of these can actually cause permanent deafness, but it is incredibly unlikely that you will be prescribed one of those unless it is completely necessary, a life or death situation. Aspirin and other salicylates can cause tinnitus, loss of hearing and even vertigo when taken in large doses, but these effects are reversible once you stop taking the drug. Tom Rokins wrote this article on behalf of Boots Hearingcare, the hearing aid specialists in the UK.


Patch the eardrum with a piece of the patient's own tissue taken from a vein or muscle sheath (called tympanoplasty).
Repair smaller holes in the eardrum by placing either gel or a special paper over the eardrum (called myringoplasty).
The surgeon will use an operating microscope to view and repair the eardrum or the small bones. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. That part of the ear you stick your finger in when sitting in the 405 traffic is called the external auditory canal.
When he burns you on the “7’6 thruster” and you scream at him, he really can’t hear you because of his Surfer’s Ear. However, 3 different Ear, Nose and Throat doctors told me my canals were 99% closed, and that waiting could allow an infection to occur, which would extremely complicate the surgery. The result is typically a decline in conductive hearing—as the passage in the middle and outer ear becomes immune to sound waves.
It is thought that the condition may lay dormant within a person until it is instigated by exposure. A deficit in ability to hear low pitched sounds, whispers, women’s and children’s voices is typically a first stage in this hearing loss. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to avoid taking any medicine or supplements before the procedure.
A local anesthetic is a drug that numbs the part of your body where you will have the surgery. Your provider will make a cut in the ear canal near the eardrum and the eardrum will be lifted away from the middle ear.
Usually you will go back to see your provider 1 week after surgery to have the packing removed.
The part of your face on the side where you had the surgery may have temporary weakness, but this is very rare. Taking time to see an audiologist for regular hearing screenings and knowing the signs of hearing loss can protect your hearing. Thankfully, they’re not too difficult to look after – a bit of TLC and common sense should work wonders to keep your ears working better and for longer.
Think back to the last gig you went to, or the last time you spent all night clubbing – when you got home, you almost definitely experienced a ringing in your ears, a bit like tinnitus.
Sadly, the more you expose yourself to these noisy environments, the more the hearing damage increases. Noise-cancelling headphones can be of use; because they eliminate pesky background noise, you can hear better at a lower volume. If your ears are hurting or ringing, or you have to shout to be heard by someone two meters (~7 ft.) away, the music is too loud. Others will have a temporary effect, and should clear up once the drugs are out of your system. You’d be wrong – it protects the inside of your ears, trapping particles of dust, sweat, dirt and the like to prevent infections.
Do not, under any circumstances, start rooting around in there with a cotton bud – this can push the wax further in or even do damage to your ear drum. Once it’s been cleared out, if you are still experiencing problems hearing, you should visit a trained audiologist.
If you need any advice on looking after your hearing or even want a free hearing test- get in touch. This means they are asleep and pain-free.General anesthesiaGeneral anesthesia is treatment with certain medicines that puts you into a deep sleep so you do not feel pain during surgery. When showering or washing your hair, place cotton in the outer ear and cover it with petroleum jelly. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
With Surfer’s Ear, cold water exposure causes multiple thick bony lesions to protrude into this canal. In 2003 the Journal of Otolaryngology reviewed the operations for 182 patients with Surfer’s Ear. Most hearing loss is often well understood, but the abnormal bone growth associated with otosclerosis is somewhat of a mystery.
Rarely, otosclerosis can result in sensorineural hearing loss, meaning it’s not the middle ear or even outer ear damaged, but the delicate hair cells of the inner ear.


It is also more common in women than men, and afflicts Caucasians and Asians more than African Americans. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!
The buildup of bone keeps the stapes from moving normally, resulting in a type of hearing loss called conductive hearing loss.
Allow for time to rest and try to find other people to help with your day-to-day tasks while you recover.
You have the right to make decisions about your healthcare and to give permission for tests or procedures.
The three ear bones inside the ear will be checked to make sure that the stapes is the cause of the hearing loss. Your hearing may still not seem any better until a month or so after the surgery because of swelling and bruising inside the ear. Noise induced hearing loss is a permanent and preventable disability that can affect your quality of life. It may, or may not, surprise you to learn that people often do not realize they have developed a hearing loss, as it can be a subtle and gradual change. Aminoglycoside antibiotics, used in treating potentially fatal diseases, can also cause hearing loss, but are becoming less common.
Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Most often these lesions are asymptomatic, however Surfer’s Ear can cause recurrent ear infections, irritation, or even hearing loss.
The Archives of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery in 1999 examined the ears of 307 surfers and 73.5% had some form of Surfer’s Ear. The use of this term correlates highly with age greater than 50 years and a New York background).
Only 67% of the patients had a relief in symptoms, 14% had complications such as tympanic membrane perforation, infection or hearing loss, and 6% required reoperations.
Put the plugs in your ears; a 2004 study in Clinical Otolaryngology noted the plugs prolonged the time for Surfer Ear’s to develop by a factor of 5.
Decline in hearing in all cases is gradual and is usually noticed in the third decade or later in life. A general anesthetic will relax your muscles, put you to sleep, and prevent you from feeling pain during the operation.
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may have a hearing loss and need to visit an audiologist.
The statistics are shocking, especially knowing that over half of those 36 million Americans are younger than age 65. Our guest post this week, by Tom Rokins with Boots Hearingcare, details several easy methods of care and prevention.
In the group that surfed less than 10 years, 44.7% had normal ear canals and 6% had severely obstructed canals. These percentages support GS’s conclusion: if you are like most surfers who develop External Auditory Canal Exostoses without symptoms (hearing loss, recurrent infections, or canal obstruction) then you should delay surgery until symptoms develop.
If you compare this study to the one above, a Californian with plugs develops Surfer’s Ear at about the rate of a Hawaiian without plugs. Audiologists are healthcare professionals that specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, treating and managing hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. Traffic on the 405, at least two parking tickets a year; Britney Spears weighing 2 bills in 2 years?
Here is one more item you can count on if you surf: External Auditory Canal Exostoses also called Surfer’s Ear.
At least you are not a daily Maverick’s or Ghost Tree charger; surfers in Northern California develop significant obstruction twice as quickly as Southern California surfers due to the colder water. Do not rub.You or your child may feel pulsing, or hear popping, clicking, or other sounds in the ear.
You may notice sharp, shooting pains off and on soon after the surgery.To avoid catching a cold, stay away from crowded places and people with cold symptoms.



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