Are you a cold water paddler? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-28-2003   #1
jonny water's Avatar
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 615
Are you a cold water paddler?

I was just in Seattle....the rivers are huge!!! Anyway, while on a visit with my buddy Justin, I learned that his roomate is an audiologist. John, the audiologist gave us both ear exams. He told us that we both had "Exostosis." This is a bone growth in the ear canal. I looked in Justin's ear (with the aid of an ear scope) and his were HUGE. Exostosis is common among surfers and cold water paddlers. They form from exposure to cold water. John told us that if Justin didn't do something soon, he would surely have hearing loss soon as his exostosis were closing his ear canal rapidly. We were both fitted with Aqua Not earplugs that allow you to still hear while wearing the plugs due to a small diaphram and canal for sound waves to pass.

If anyone is exposing themselves to cold water (which many who are reading this are), you might want to consider some prevention. If these bone growths persist, surgery is the only remedy. It is very painful as anesthetic can't be used in this delicate region of the ear.

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