Surfers’ Earplugs Prevent Surfers’ Ear and Hearing Loss
Surfers who wear ear plugs for surfing are less likely to develop surfers ear and loss of hearing
UK (PRUnderground) June 20th, 2012
What is surfers’ ear? It is a disorder of the ear canal where bony growths (exostoses) grow around the opening, gradually closing the ear over. Surfers’ ear is caused by wind and sea water cooling the ear and the mastoid bone, the lump behind your ear. It tends to be more severe in cold-water surfers but still occurs in warm-water surfers due to cooling effect of the wind on wet ears.
Ear infection is more likely in surfers’ ear as the ear canal doesn’t dry out properly. Infections can be difficult to treat as the ear canal is often full of debris and difficult to get antibiotic drops into due to narrowing. As the bone starts to meet in the middle of the canal hearing is lost, eventually resulting in complete conductive deafness in severe cases. Sufferers usually seek help before this stage as hearing loss becomes noticeable before complete closure occurs. Even if the canal closes completely some hearing is preserved as bone conduction of sound still occurs. Surfers’ ear treatment consists of drilling or chiselling the bone away to reopen the ear canal.
Prevention of surfers’ ear is far better than cure. Wearing surfing earplugs and a hood prevents wind and water entering the ears and protects the mastoid, ceasing progression of the disease. Ear plugs for surfing need to be non-porous and preferably antibacterial to help reduce the chance of infection from dirty sea water and other causes. Colourful surfing earplugs are easier to find when you drop them on the beach or on the floor of your car and if you connect them with a cord you can tie them to the zip on your wetsuit. If you are a regular surfer it’s worth treating yourself to a pair of moulded surfers’ earplugs as they are more comfortable and will last longer. You don’t want your ears drilling!
One day in 2009 Dr Toby Bateson was fed up because his rubber stethoscope earpieces had split and fallen off again. In a flash of inspiration whilst in A and E Majors he realised he could make his own from some special plastic he had at home. After work he went out to his shed and gave it a go; it worked first time; in only a few minutes he\\\\\\’d made himself a great pair of earpieces, far more comfortable and long-lasting than his old ones. He could make them any colour he liked, rather than having to put up with boring old grey. It soon became obvious that the same technique could be used to make earplugs and earpieces for electronic audio equipment.
He was so happy with his new earpieces he decided to start a company to develop, manufacture and market his invention. The company started life as VariFone and had it\\\\\\’s name changed to ZenPlugs in 2010.
Based in Truro, Cornwall we source materials, services and expertise locally and export internationally. We pride ourselves on quality, innovation and customer service and hope our customers love what we do as much as we do.