Surfing and Hi-Fi

Hi all,

I was wondering how many people on this site Surf ( not the internet ). I was also wondering if it causes you any issues with your ears. I have blown both ear drums at least once over the years and after the last time (1 1/2 years ago ) my ears are always plugged after surfing, more the sinuses and Eustachian tubes actually. I have had my hearing tested and have great hearing still, the doctor said it is rare to see people with my level of hearing at my age (35). So my concerns are not really of hearing loss, but that annoying feeling of being plugged up, it really rolls off the highs. I have tried Sudafed and other similar drugs in an attempt to dry things out, it does helps a bit, but I don't know what the long term effects of taking it everyday are. Have any of you had this problem? Have any solutions? Earplugs and not surfing are not options.

Yes, I have huge issues with closed down ear canals from surfing and sailing in cold air, and I'm only in So. Cal!! I also shaped surfboards and my right ear has some damage from the high pitch of the planner cutting foam. Both of my ear drums are also scarred.
Most plugs are horrible, they just don't work for many reasons, except some Spanish ear plug that are from Barcelona called NOHISENT, they are cotton and wax and can be adjusted so when your driven down you can still equalize without water getting in. I've used them in cold Cal and warm Hawaii and they worked well in both places. It took awhile to get used to my hearing being muffled and having to compensate for the reduction of that important sense but the discomfort and downright pain of water trapped in my ear for a week or two has made it mandatory that I use plugs or quit surfing (not an option!!)
My wife has had problems with clogged eustachian tubes over many years. She used to complain constantly of the clogged up feeling you describe. Antihistamines helped somewhat, but what's really helped resolve the problem is twice daily saline rinsing of the nasal cavities with a "neti pot." Don't know if it would help you, but the price is next to nil and can't hurt. May sound strange, but it really has helped her immensely.
Samhar, with the kings reef comment on my systems page, I assumed you surfed. My wifes ears are 90% closed from cold water bone growth, but she hates ear plugs too. We will both check out the plugs from spain, I think I have seen people wearing them here. They might work up my nose? Water isn't getting stuck in the outer ear side of the eardrum, it's the nose/sinus/eustachian side. Interesting you mentioned the compensation for hearing loss with plugs. I tried for 1 month and hated it, your hearing and vision are so connected it felt like surfing with blinders on. I figured I would rather blow my eardrums every few years and deal with it, then having to deal with plugs everyday, it really affected my surfing.

Mr photon, is a neti pot a tool, or an additive to the saline? If you mean flushing out the sinuses with saline, that is what happens everytime I go surfing, any wipeouts, and there are usually many, and I can drain about 1/4 cup of salt water from my right nostril ( the most recent eardrum burst ) so there is no problems with getting the saline up there.

Thanks for your replies
A neti pot is something like a miniature watering can that holds saline solution for rinsing your sinuses. Just google "neti pot" for more info. Again, no idea if what helped my wife would benefit you. The basic benefit of nasal irrigation is that is helps keep the eustachian tubes functioning normally.
Have you tried the exterior nose pincher that seals the nose closed for swimmers ? I have a friend who's problem sound similar to yours and he uses this for surfing with great results, no water in his sinuses.
I've taken cold water Sex Wax and blended it with cotton in a pinch, worked very well actually.

For ear plugs!!!
I've been on sudafed for probably 50+ years in one form or another and my hearing is fine, all due to asthma and allergies. Take it daily at least once sometimes more. No real long term side effects that I've found yet but then who knows as time goes on.
Update, last week, after 1 1/2 years of being plugged, my right ear just cleared and fluid ran down the back of my throat. For the first time in almost 2 years I could hear so clearly I was afraid to move, I was afraid to go to sleep because it might not be there in the morning. It lasted for about 3 days. Thanks for the suggestions, the Neti pot actually worked quite well....most of the time, I also feel better about taking the Sudafed for the last year. I went to the ent today and found out that after breaking my nose 3 times I deviated my septum pretty bad which would account for all the symptoms, nothing to do with the eardrum. It is so bad he couldn't even fit a small scope up there to look around, and he froze the right side of my head.
I have a surgery scheduled for June, I am excited.

Thanks Again.
Great! Hope it works out and your comfortable.
For allergies I'd recommend a topical steroid like Beclomethasone
Diproprionate - you can buy this as a nasal spray at any drug store in the UK.
In the US you'll need to get a prescription but you may have to tell your
doctor about it.

Antihistamines generally cause drowsiness and long term use is not a good
thing, imho, but for an acute attack they work great whilst a topical steroid
nasal spray will take a few days to fully work.