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Surfer's ear can cause permanent hearing loss warns Truro audiologist

By WBMiles  |  Posted: January 20, 2014

Surfer's ear can cause permanent hearing loss, warns a Truro audiologist.

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A HEARING expert from Truro is urging surfers to take action against a common malady that affects practitioners of the sport.

Audiologist Claire Walters warned of the dangers of surfers ear and what can be done to prevent it.

The condition is an abnormal bone growth into the outer ear canals and is usually a result of exposure to cold wind and water.

The excess bone growth often means that debris and water can become trapped within the ear canal, as well as ear wax.

The wax is then restricted from doing its job of cleaning the ear, and can result in painful infections. Signs of surfer’s ear can be difficulty clearing the ear of water as well as recurrent and painful ear infections.

Ms Walters, hearing aid audiologist at Specsavers hearing centre Truro, said: “Surfing is growing and growing as a sport, unfortunately educating young surfers on protecting their hearing isn’t matching this popularity increase.

”I see a lot of young surfers coming into store with bad cases of surfer’s ear who aren’t doing anything to protect from it. Although better to start wearing protection early, it is never too late and by doing so it can prevent the condition from worsening.”

The audiologist said a well-fitted or custom-fitted ear mould was the best protection from surfer’s ear.

She said: “If you leave the condition unchecked or don’t make efforts to protect your ears then permanent hearing loss is a very real possibility. However, it isn’t a condition that surfers and other cold water hobbyists have to accept as their lot, it is very much preventable.”

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