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(Kite) surfing? Protect your hearing! (Earplugs for surfers)

earplugs for surfers

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custom-made hearing protection

The importance of good earplugs for surfers

You may not have given it much thought, yet it is very important to protect your ears during wind or kite surfing with earplugs (custom-made). Why? We'd like to give you some good reasons why.

1. Preventing a surfer's ear

A surfer's ear is also known as exostosis, a benign bone growth in the bony portion of the ear canal. Exostosis is a natural defense mechanism of the body and is common in people who practice water sports such as water skiing, supping, flyboarding and kite surfing. Cold and wind cause irritation of the ear canal. When this irritation occurs with regularity, the ear protects itself by creating bone in the ear canal. This process takes place unnoticed and, unfortunately, you don't notice its effects until later in life, when it is too late. If you often find yourself in water colder than 20° Celsius, there is a high chance of developing surfer's ear.

The effects of a surfer's ear

- Dirty ears, a feeling like being underwater
- More earaches or ear infections than average
- Impaired hearing
- Persistent hearing loss

Once you suffer from the condition and once it has taken on severe forms, there is little you can do about it. In some cases, surgery could still provide relief. Unfortunately, it is a risky operation, with the possibility of permanent damage to your hearing. The benign bone growth must be cut away or chiseled away near other internal parts in your ear with a router or chisel. Most often, however, the drilling method is used. In this, the ear is cut open and folded away forward to create space for drilling. After removing the bone growth, the ear is folded back and closed. Not a pleasant operation to undergo. Also, recovery can take several months.

2. Avoiding high winds

Surfing in high winds is a rather noisy affair, which can contribute to hearing loss over time. Studies were conducted after this. It found, for example, that when cyclists rode at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour, it produced a noise level of 85 dBA. That was enough to lead to hearing loss over time. Kite surfers are exposed to similar noise levels due to high speeds combined with windy conditions.

3. Preventing a ruptured eardrum

If you suddenly hit the surface of the water with your ear, there is a good chance that your eardrum will rupture from the impact. A perforated or ruptured eardrum is a very painful affair. Fortunately, your eardrum usually heals on its own within a few months. Unfortunately, that means you cannot surf during this period. No water should get into your ear(s) during this recovery period.

Wearing custom-made earplugs protects against a ruptured eardrum.

An ear infection can also result in a ruptured eardrum. Those who wear earplugs in the water also reduce the chances of contracting ear infections.

Prevention, better than cure

Your surfing equipment naturally includes a good wetsuit and a cap, which you can wear when it is cold or there is a lot of wind. But especially in spring and fall, when you are not wearing your cap and the water temperature is less than 20° Celsius, you have six (!) times the risk of getting a surfer's ear. Therefore, make sure you have good hearing protection and have custom-made earplugs, or otoplastics, fitted. These earplugs for surfing are comfortable to wear and completely seal your ear without completely cutting you off from ambient noise.

Learn more about earplugs for surfers here.

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