Surfer's ear // What is it and how to prevent it

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hi there! Today I'd like to talk about a more serious topic.
With the winter hitting the Northern hemisphere, surfers spend more and more time in harsh conditions, the water getting colder and the biting winds blowing stronger. I've been lucky so far for never suffering from ear problems, but I know how important is to talk about this very common issue for surfers.

It exists a pathology commonly named "surfer's ear", due to its prevalence among cold water surfers.

Ears are very sensitive and we when we expose them to raw weather conditions, we risk to endanger them. Medically known as "exostosis of the external auditory canal", surfer's ear consists in an abnormal bone growth within the ear canal. This is caused by irritation from cold wind and water exposure, that lead the bone surrounding the ear canal to grow lumps, behind which water and earwax may be trapped. Once formed, the bone growth is irreversible.

Exostosis in not necessarily harmful by itself and most people who have surfer’s ear are completely symptom free. But many times this narrowing can easily result in painful ear infections and hearing loss.
Once the pathology is diagnosed, the only solution to fix this common surfer's problem is surgery in order to remove the growth.

But before we decide to hung up our board for the winter, we must know that some small everyday acts can really make the difference and prevent surfer's ear in most of us.
Since avoiding surfing during cold or windy conditions is not an option for the most passionate ones, the answer is simple: wear ear plugs!

For those within us who have been lucky not to suffer from ear pathologies, ear plugs are just uncomfortable, expensive, deafening and ruin the overall surf experience. These surfers look at them with anxiety and guilt at the same time, well aware of their importance but still reticent to take the plunge. Some other surfers have embraced the "no surf without (ear) protection" way of life, the most of them having suffered from ear problems or knowing someone who did. They know that the only way to stay away from exostosis, while spending so much time in the sea pursuing their passion, is wearing ear plugs.

I admit I sadly belong to the first category of surfers. But recently I started hearing about surfer's ear more and more and I don't want to find myself in an unpleasant situation when it will be too late.

Then I discovered that my favorite brand of natural beauty products and sunscreen is actually producing its own ear plugs! I've already talked to you about EQ Love and its eco-friendly line of cosmetics (you can check my previous article here). Other than preserving the environment, EQ Love is all about well being and the surfer way of life.

That's why they decided to collaborate with engineers and surgeons to develop an ear plugs in order to prevent from those ears’ pathologies. Using an innovative design made of flexible medical silicone, EQ ear plugs have a breathable membrane, which allows the circulation of air in the ear, and therefore maintaining hearing and balance (which is super important for a surfer!).

They're packed in a handy carry tube on a key ring, so that you can easily carry them with you everyday with no risk of forgetting them. At the moment they're resting safely in my bag, waiting for me to finally wear them!
I want to be an exemple and engage myself in doing the right thing for once :) Again, why waiting to suffer from a pathology we can easily prevent with a small everyday act?

I'll keep you posted!

1 comment on "Surfer's ear // What is it and how to prevent it"
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