Ear plugs are for cool kids.

Surfer’s ear.

Doctors call it “exostosis of the external auditory canal.” Exostosis for short.

An abnormal bone growth that narrows the ear canal. Onset is caused by irritation due to cold water and cold air.


Reference 1.


This is not the same as swimmers ear. (Swimmers ear, or otitis externa, is an inflammation of the ear canal due to irritation or water or debree.)

Exostosis is a progressive condition. If ignored and left to its’ own devices it can become very painful and diminish quality of life (since pain is miserable and hard to ignore when it’s in your head.) Also mentionable, and some what obvious, diminishes hearing.

This bone growth is irreversible once it starts.

Minimally invasive procedures are an option of relief for severe cases.

After surgery, however, a patient must stay out of the water from 2-6 weeks to prevent complications or infection.

But why let it get to that if we can see it coming?

Prevention is the best medicine.

My right ear still hurts from surfing four days ago! That is why I am researching and writing this today. On my way home, I am buying ear plugs.


Because I am a cool kid.


  1. http://www.pamf.org/ENT/services/surfersear.html
  2. http://magicseaweed.com/news/surfers-ear-an-inconvenient-truth/6276/
  3. http://www.californiaearinstitute.com/ear-disorders-exostosis-california-ear-institute-bay-area.php

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