Surfer's ear is a common condition affecting the hearing of those who go in the sea regularly. Whether this for surfing, swimming or kite surfing they are all at risk of surfer's ear if they don't take precautions. The body reacts to the cold by forming tiny bony nodules around the opening of the ear. These slowly grow over the next few years, narrowing the opening. This leads to conductive deafness and a higher rate of ear infection in sufferers. To avoid this they need to protect themselves.
Having not used protection, the only treatment for the condition is surgery. The extra bone is chiselled or drilled away by a surgeon under local anaesthetic. ZenPlugs wanted to find out how often surfers needed to have the operation. They carried out a survey of 203 avid surfers who were contacted using social media and a hospital staff newsletter. Surprisingly, in this group 6% of the surfers had the operation at some point in their lives. This comes to 1 and 17 surfers. Several of them had even had it more than once. Having the operation does not protect against the condition coming back if protection is not used.
The research also showed that wearing surfing earplugs and a surfer's neoprene cap more than 90% of the time prevented the condition.
Summary. One in 17 surfer's have had their ears chiselled or drilled. If you don't want to be one of them wear your surfer's cap and ear plugs more than 90% of the time.