Four Measures To Reduce Your Risk Of Surfer's Ear

A surfer's ear is a medical condition that develops if you continually expose your ears to cold water and the wind. The cold stimulates bony growths in your ear canal, which reduces the diameter of the canal, increases your risk of ear infections, and impairs your hearing. Here are four tips for preventing the condition:

Use Earplugs

Using surfers' earplugs is one of the best ways of preventing surfer's ear. The plugs are designed to keep water out of your ear canal, meaning you don't have to worry about chronic exposure to cold water. You also don't have to worry about not hearing your surf buddy because these earplugs are vented to allow sound through while keeping water outside. Make sure you get fitting plugs; otherwise, they won't serve their purpose.

Wear Neoprene Hoods

Apart from earplugs, you can also adorn a neoprene hood to minimize the effects of moisture and cold temperatures in your ears. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber known for its excellent chemical stability. The material maintains its flexibility over a wide temperature range, which is why it keeps your ears warm even while surfing in cold water. However, neoprene hoods will not keep water out of your ears all the time. It is for this reason that they are often paired with earplugs; that way, you get maximum protection.

Dry Your Ears

You can protect your ears by wearing ear plugs and hoods, but you can't eliminate the chance of a little water getting into your ears. Yet bacteria thrive in moist conditions, and that little water is exactly what they need to infect your ears. Therefore, it's best to dry your ears immediately after coming out of the water.

After drying your outer ear (wiping with a soft cloth does the job well), tip your head to the side to let the water out. If you have a blow dryer, put it at the lowest setting, hold it at least a foot away and use it to dry your ears.

Surf When the Weather Is Best

As far as surfer's ear is concerned, the best weather for surfing is that it reduces the risk of water getting into your ears, and the temperature is relatively high. Therefore, a sunny, windless day provides the perfect conditions for surfing. The relatively high temperatures will keep your ears dry and warm while the lack of wind reduces the chances of water getting into your ears.

A surfer's ear may not be symptomatic in its infancy, but that doesn't mean that it isn't dangerous. When the bony growths become too much, you may have to undergo surgery to reduce them. Therefore, it's advisable to practice these preventive measures every time you are surfing.