Howzit John, Cold air can cause the problem. I understand a lot of fishermen get it and they are not putting their heads in the water. I was told in 79 that my ear canals were 80% closed and would probably need an operation. Instead I started using a bulb syringe to flush my ears 2-3 times a week and then using a mixture of 50% alcohol and 50% vinegar. I did this regularlly for about 15years and in 1990 I had a hearing checkup and the doctor told me my ear canals were wide open. The vinegar disolves the calcium in the boney growths and eventually they are gone. It's the same as people with arthritus drinking vinegar to ease their pain. Aloha, Kokua
over the last 20 years i've tried custom made plugs(expensive), silicone, etc. and the best performance day in and out is from Doc's proplugs( and during windy/cold times a hood also).they are efficient, functional and inexpensive,I use them in the shower, pool and ocean and it has been years since my last infection.(i am 95% closed in both ears- but due to maintenance it hasn't changed over past 10 years)
From what I have been able to gather, everyone will progress with the Boney growth at different rates- Exposure time on a daily basis, is a significant factor- The significant damage in my case came between the early 70s to mid 80s- Plugs slowed it down but did not stop it, and I wore my Docs Pro Plugs religiously for close to the last 17 years. Pro Plugs have far out-peformed any other Plug I have tried. If you have significant closure (80% or better), Try tucking a cotton Ball underneath the vented plug. The Cotton Ball Serves as a filter to sand and any other crud that gets through- Its stuff like this that is incredibly difficult to clear once inside a significantly bloced ear- Moisture will cling to this acumulation, leading to swelling Blockge, and infection. Be Warned though- You can not put just a tiny piece of cotton under the Plug, if you have a decent sized opening, or the Cotton might get to deeply into the ear. Go through the proper steps with the fit set of the proplugs and make sure you pick the right size- (Dont fit them too small) You will loose very few pairs if you fit them properly- I dont use the leashes with them-
I had a pair of those self custom ones, seals i think. Its that putty where you mix the catalyst and then cram it in your ear. The fit was good, but the damn things made me kinda sea sick in the water, thats the best way to describe it. Some sort of inner ear snafu, any one else had this happen?, do vent plugs work better than the unvented? and not cause this sea sickness? Oh and i dont get sea sick, as i work and a deck hand in sommer on sportfishers'; read newspapers and eater greasy eggs and bacon inside on a rough day; for a while atleast. Not that its ever that rough in so.cal, if any northern folk are reading.
A Vented Docs Pro Plug is much easier to get used to, and does not tend to affect your equilibrium the same was a a no vented- Its much nicer on the ears if you get severly whomped also (put to the test many Times at the rights off Ts (Jalama)! Not a watertite systm, but much more managable to surf with, for me at least.
I was told 22 years ago that I needed to get my right ear drilled, I had heard some bad reports so I put it off for 15 years. I was totally deaf in the left ear with puss constantly ooozing to the point of having to plug it with cotton wool everyday. I got to the point of nearly passing out through the dizzines so I went and got it checked again. I was told that I was a membrane away from Menengitis and that if I had left it for another couple of months the prognosis would not have been good. My ear surgeon (who I now make boards for)said that it was the worst one that he had seen and after 4 hours of drilling and removing a huge chunck of infected mastoid bone I was left with one sore head and an ear canal that I can put my thumb into. After that I had my left ear done because that had closed aswell but it was not infected so that was good. I then had to go back in for some tidy up work on my right ear but there is a hole in my ear drum that the Doc recons might never heal. I got a special plug made for my right ear because if I dont wear it water drains down it like a sink plug hole and I get dizzy. As for them growing back my Doc recons that at my age it should'nt be a problem because I will be six feet under by the time they grow back and by then would probably enjoy the peace and quiet. KR
Many surfers get into trouble with sinus problems. Don't ignore it. Here are some examples of bad stuff that can happen... What serious complications can occur in a patient with acute bacterial sinusitis? Most patients with acute bacterial sinusitis respond adequately to antibiotic therapy, and complications are very rarely seen in clinical practice. Because many family physicians have never encountered clinical cases where the sinus infection has spread to areas outside the sinus cavities (eg. orbit, skull or brain), they may miss clinical signs suggestive of early extra-sinus disease. Spread to the orbit of the eye Sinusitis can spread to the orbit, and produce an orbital infection. This usually occurs secondary to direct or hematogenous (blood stream) spread from an ethmoid sinusitis. The extent/intensity of the orbital infection can vary considerably, and a classification system is used to describe the extent of an orbital infection. Preseptal (peri-orbital) cellulitis. The orbital septum is a sheet of connective tissue continuous with the periosteum of the orbital bones that separates the tissues of the upper eyelid from those of the orbit. Preseptal (above the septum) inflammation involves only the upper eyelid, whereas postseptal (below the septum) inflammation involves structures of the true orbital cavity. The patient with preseptal cellulitis has swelling and redness of the upper eyelid +/- swelling of the peri-orbital (area surounding the orbit) region due to passive venous congestion. The patient can still elevate the swollen, red upper eyelid. The external eye often appears normal or slightly red, and the eye globe is not bulging. All eye movements are painless and complete, and vision is normal. Orbital cellulitis The infection has spread below the orbital septum into the orbital cavity, but the orbital infection has not yet produced an orbital abscess. In orbital cellulitis the redness involves the whole peri-orbital area around the eye, and not just the upper eyelid. The external eye may be very red, but it is not proptotic (bulging forward of the eye globe). External eye movements may be painful but they are complete, and vision is normal. Fever may be present. Orbital abscess The infection within the orbit is extensive, and pus collects within the orbital cavity around the eye globe. The eye is pushed forward, and the abscess interferes with the extraocular eye muscles moving the eye, so that external eye movements are incomplete or absent (fixed globe). Diploplia (double vision) is an early symptom suggesting involvement of the extraocular eye muscles. Extensive disease may result in an immobile eye, proptosis (bulging forward of the eye globe), chemosis (red bulging conjunctival tissue) and impaired vision due to compression of the optic nerve within the orbit. A CT scan of the orbit can clearly differentiate the extent of preseptal and postseptal orbital involvement, and is routinely ordered if post-septal orbital involvement is suspected. Any involvement of the orbit (preseptal or postseptal) is a medical emergency and the patient should seek immediate medical attention. A physician's initial approach to these orbital complications varies, but the usual clinical approach could be as follows:- Mild cases of periorbital cellulitis (eyelid
>>>Should have started wearing plugs or a hood years ago... I've posted on this subject before, to endless prattling insults or complete silence on the surfermag bb, so it's nice to read a couple of posivitve comments about the benefits of a hood. Figures it would be here. Diagnosed at approximately 50% in one ear and 55% in the other - in 1981. 2001 and it's about 50% and 65%, after wearing a wetsuit hood religiously year round in Southern California since then. Didn't like plugs much, found an alternative which seems to work for me. The original doctor pointed out that as one ages there is usually less water time, which will slow growth. During some periods this was true; in others I was wet a lot over the course of the year. the other nice thing about a good wetsuit hood, with a small brim, is that it protects the head from the sun. A couple of guys mentioned here types of damage which results from so much solar radiation. There was still plenty of exposed facial skin, but perhaps 2/3 less than if I was wearing plugs.
I was told by ear doc to wear a hood in the winter and plugs in the summer, and that's what I do. No further hearing loss and no impending surgery. I do something similar to kokua's trick, which is to use eardrops after surfing, my mix is alcohol, vinegar, and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Never realized that the vinegar might dissolve bony growth, though. Guess I'll modify my mix to use a higher % of vinegar...
Wot sort of vinegar? White, brown or cider? (not joking!)