Surfer’s ears – and what can be done about them [new study]

“External auditory exostoses, also known as surfer’s ear, are benign tumours of the external auditory canal. They form primarily as a result of environmental factors, including recurrent exposure to cold water (below 19°C) or cold air, with a prevalence in surfers ranging from 38% to 73.5%. The prevalence and severity of exostoses are dependent on the amount of time spent surfing.”

Such is the description of a case published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, April 08, 2019 191 (14) E396. As for remedies, they suggest :

“Initial management of external auditory exostoses should focus on prevention by reducing specific environmental exposures such as cold air or water, through the use of ear plugs, hoods and swim caps”

Or, as the ‘Surfer’s Ear’ page at Wikipedia puts it,

“ • Avoid activity during extremely cold or windy conditions.
• Keep the ear canal as warm and dry as possible.”

BONUS: Tommy Cooper joke:

“Doctor, it hurts every time I do this . . .”

“Well don’t do it then”

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