A while ago we took a look at the weird sh*t that surfers get, and it included a bit about Surfer’s Ear. Turns out quite a few local surfers have had their ears drilled. Local goofy-footer Etienne Potgieter is the latest unlucky recipient of what is the ear’s equivalent of root canal.
Sticks a few guidewires in the canal to hold it open. Then he pops a scope in there, and looking through that chips and chisels away at the lumps using a mini-drill. Takes a good coupla hours.
Was it eina?
You come out of theatre with a wad of gauze stuck in your ear, over which is the equivalent of an eye patch, and that’s strapped on with a bandage around your head. The first coupla days are sore – but not as bad as I imagined. They give you some pretty strong painkillers to start with.
Am assuming it’s not something you’d recommend as a fun thing to do! Did your doc give you any advice about preventing a recurrence?
He told me to use prestik in my ear for the first week back in the water – but after that said I didn’t have to do anything. He felt long term use of prestik or ear plugs was just as much of an irritation to the ear canal as the water going in and out.
I do carry around a few bottles of Aqua-ear these days – and pop a few drops in after my surfs. It just helps evaporate any water that may get stuck in there, as well as having an anti-bacterial component.
And long term prognosis?
It really differs from person to person. Some people are lucky enough not to get it recurring, but others get it back again within a few years. Which just means you have to have the op again.
A word of warning
Don’t leave it too late! If the lumps have grown across the ear canal to the point where the doc can’t see the ear drum through the gap anymore, then he can’t operate. And then you’re screwed.
So if you’re struggling with continuous ear infections, or battle with water getting stuck in your ear all the time – go get it checked out sooner rather than later.
Better to keep your ears happy rather than facing a date with the drill.
Wanna check out what other weird sh*t surfers get? Have a look here.