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Old 08-07-2011   #11
go2water's Avatar
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 38
After 25 years of kayaking I have it too.I need to have the surgury but keep putting it off. Since I started using plugs the closure has stoped but I never never never paddle with out the plugs.
I've tried all types but found the cheap drug store kind work the best for me.
They are, like I said, cheap disposable and very efective.
They come in 12 packs, I keep a box in my car, one in my boat and a box in my gear bag.
Believe me and others with this...You dont want this issue with your ears, use those plugs!

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Old 09-12-2011   #12
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 12
Any one recommend a good Doctor for the surgery in the Denver area? Or has anyone gone to Dr. Michael Tralla?

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Old 09-12-2011   #13
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 141
Originally Posted by aviyaker View Post
Any one recommend a good Doctor for the surgery in the Denver area? Or has anyone gone to Dr. Michael Tralla?
I can't give a specific recommendation but I have heard some horror stories of these surgeries going very poorly. I would make sure whoever is doing it has done many of these before. That being said, the horror stories tend to get remembered and those that go well are probably never mentioned.
Vaya Con Rios!

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Old 09-12-2011   #14
OlyPen, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 85
Have heard it called Surfer's Ear

I use Doc's vented earplugs, both for protection against cold water and for reducing/preventing water staying in my ears long after paddling. Water-filled ears can screw up balance, so this is a big deal for kayaking.

Combined with the vented plugs I wear a tight-fitting neoprene cap that covers the ears and has a chin strap. Some water can still get into my ears but not nearly as much or as often as doing without either the plugs or the cap. The chin strip also provides a place to attach the nose clips.

I cut the little clear string off the Doc's ear plugs...don't worry about them coming out since the neoprene cap covers the ears. So far, they have never come out anyway.

As others have said, the Doc's ear plugs come in a huge range of sizes. Maybe incorrect fit is why some people have trouble with them falling out?

Sure would be nice to have earflaps and nostril flaps like some sea mammals do! Would be like closing your eyes.
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Old 09-12-2011   #15
mustloverafting's Avatar
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 65
Dr. Tim Pingree is a very good ENT doctor and has done an operation on both of my sons for their ear problems.
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Old 09-12-2011   #16
Phillips's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorasta
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 843
Hi I'm sorry to hear about your condition. How many days a week do you boat? Do you play boat or creek mainly? Good luck with your recovery


Originally Posted by CBrown View Post
I got attacked by an ear infection this past Monday which led to a trip to the doc. The doc was pretty much horrified when they looked into my ear to discover how micro my ear canals had gotten.
I have had ear infections before but it was never really emphasized to me in past doctor visits the importance of protecting the ear from cold water. I went to my fellow paddler friend (who happens to be an audioologist) to have him construct me some custom ear plugs. He was pretty floored as well once he looked in there and saw the micro openings I call my ear canals.
I am now headed to a specialist on Monday to get further checked out and to get some super custom plugs. The whole situation blows and I guess I have only myself to blame. I am sitting at home now writing this in all sorts of pain (from the ear infection) wondering when I can get back in the water.

Anyway, if anyone else has anything to add, lets hear it. Dont make the same mistake I did and think you are immune to EXOSTOSIS.

Ear Disorders * Exostosis * Surfer's Ear * California Ear Institute * Ear Doctors * Palo Alto * Bay area
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Old 09-12-2011   #17
Roy's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 682
Originally Posted by fullmer View Post
The operation isn't a big deal. I only lost about five days of boating each time, although for the operation this year I had to use one of those foam ear plugs and some duct tape for a few days.
This is encouraging. The thought of somebody going at my ear canal with a drill bit sounded positively horrifying!

(And no, I don't believe I'm in need of a procedure. Even had a doc scoping out my earholes in the last couple weeks for a sinus infection and she didn't comment on any closure.)
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 09-12-2011   #18
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks for the info
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Old 09-12-2011   #19
CBrown's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 347
Originally Posted by Phillips View Post
Hi I'm sorry to hear about your condition. How many days a week do you boat? Do you play boat or creek mainly? Good luck with your recovery

I have been boating for about 15 or so years. There were some years I boated way more than others. Most of that has been out here in cold water. It turns out I have 90% closure. I went and had custom ear plugs molded to fit my ears so no more cold water gets in there. I do not have to have surgery at this point but if I ever need hearing aids I would likely need some clearing out. My ear canals should be the diameter of a pen. They are more like the size of ink tube within the pen. Having such small ear canals make you more likely to hold water which can stimulate more bone growth if it's cold water and more susceptible to ear infections. Don't mess around and get ear plugs- good ones at that!
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 09-13-2011   #20
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 32
Damn, you all successfully scared the hell out of me... I'm getting some plugs!

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