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  • Preventing ear infection

    Posted by Jochen on June 5, 2021 at 1:01 am


    A few weeks back I got an “swimmer’s ear” infection after a turbulent surf day. I have tried various plugs, but they don’t feel very snug, so I am concerned to go out without a hood. Does anyone here know a solution that prevents ‘swimmer’s ear’, either good earplugs, drops etc.?

    Jochen replied 1 year, 1 month ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Naomi Bishop

    June 8, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Hey Jochen.

    Very good question. If you’re prone to get ear infections it will be a good idea to start wearing earplugs. Here in England majority of the surfers have started to wear them and even from a very young age. Of course, you want to prevent surfer’s ear as best you can. A few of my friends use Surf Mould Pro https://www.surfmouldpro.co.uk and speak highly about them. If you don’t live in England maybe you can find a similar product in your country.

    I hope that helps!


  • Jochen

    June 9, 2021 at 4:57 am

    Thanks, Naomi, yes, this helpful, I will look for something similar here in the US.

    Best wishes


  • Nicolas

    September 13, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Jochen,

    I use the plugs from Surf Ears when the water is below 20°C. They come with a string so they can’t be lost in the water. I recommend them and they are easy to find.

    • Jochen

      September 14, 2021 at 4:21 am

      Thanks, Nicolas, I found them after researching more and I love them!

  • brian

    October 29, 2021 at 3:41 am

    As a health care provider I may be able to provide some perspective that could be of use.

    “Swimmers ear” can also be called “surfer’s ear” and it can be called otitis externa. It is usually a bacterial infection (less commonly a fungal one) that occurs only in some unlucky people. They generally do not form much ear wax or engage in activities that wash or abrade the wax away. One should never think they are doing themselves a favor by “washing” their ears or sticking things in their ears to try to “clean” their ears by removing wax (unless someone has looked into the canal and has told you that you have a solid plug of wax and then wax removal drops are in order). It is true that over production of ear wax (cerumen) can be a problem for some people, however, trying to remove or prevent its formation is a more common problem. Exposure to a lot of water from flushing the ears or swimming and surfing etc can, in some people who don’t have a protective hydrophobic waxy seal , result in inflammation and secondary infection on the skin that lines the ear canal. This canal is highly sensitive with lots of nerve innervation and so this external ear infection/inflammation can be rather painful and always irritating.

    Suggestions as to how to prevent this , if you have this problem, would be wearing plugs that fit comfortably or drying the ear after getting out of the water with rubbing alcohol based drops or, more improbably, a hair dryer.

    <font face=”inherit”>If and when someone gets inflammation/infection manifesting as an external ear infection of the canal then in the US we prescribe drops </font>that<font face=”inherit”> are a combination of antibiotic and steroid </font>anti-inflammatory. In the US this is by prescription only. They are very safe because they are topical.


  • Jochen

    October 29, 2021 at 5:20 am

    Wow, thanks so much, Brian, that’s so helpful. I will stop using q-tips!

    Have already been using a blowdryer and also swimmer’s ear drops that are essentially alcohol.

    The link you tried posting did not come through, I did get a prescription for antibiotic eardrops that resolved the issue at the time, and have not had it since. But now that Winter is coming in NorCal, I will be grateful to be prepared.

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