Surfer’s Ear is the common name for exostoses (abnormal bone growth) in the ear canal. It is a common condition, and in most cases, it doesn’t cause any problems.
Over time, irritation from cold wind and water causes new bone to grow within the ear canal. It can occur in people whose activities lead to ears being repeatedly exposed to prolonged, cold temperatures – surfing, diving, swimming, kayaking, sailing and the occasional freezer store man!
Wax, debris and water may become trapped, which may lead to frequent infections. In very advanced cases the entire ear canal becomes blocked, causing hearing loss.
If a person with extensive exostoses has frequent ear infections or the ear canal becomes blocked, then surgical removal may be the best option. The procedure is called an exostectomy and will be performed by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ORL) Specialist in a Private or Public Hospital.