Surfer's Ear: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the ocean waves can be an exhilarating experience for many surfers. However, the sea has its own set of challenges, and surfer's ear is one of them. At The Ear Clinic, we have dedicated our services to understanding and treating various ear conditions, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the soothing sounds of the waves without any hindrance. In this blog post, we’ve explore surfer’s ear and how to prevent it.

What is Surfer's Ear?

Surfer’s ear is a condition caused by exposure to cold wind and water, leading to the growth of bony lumps in the ear canal. These lumps can lead to hearing loss, water entrapment, and frequent ear infections if left untreated. The condition is particularly prevalent among individuals who are frequently exposed to cold waters, like surfers.

Surfer's Ear vs Swimmer's Ear

While both conditions are influenced by water activities, there's a significant difference between surfers ear vs swimmer's ear:

  • Surfer's Ear: Caused by repeated exposure to cold wind and water, resulting in bone growth in the ear canal.
  • Swimmer's Ear: An outer ear canal infection usually resulting from water remaining in the ear after swimming, causing bacterial growth. For a more detailed comparison, you can refer to our guide on swimmer's ear in NZ.

Surfer's Ear Wax Removal

One of the primary issues surfers face, due to bone growth, is the entrapment of wax in the ear canal. Surfer’s ear wax removal becomes crucial in these cases. At The Ear Clinic, we use a specialised method to gently suction out the trapped wax and debris, ensuring clear ear canals and reducing the risk of subsequent infections. Our surfer's ear wax removal method is akin to our swimmer's ear wax removal procedure.

Surfer's Ear Treatment

Once diagnosed, surfer’s ear treatment is essential to prevent complications. The treatment may range from simple outpatient procedures to surgical interventions, depending on the severity. It's always advised to seek prompt medical attention if you suspect you might have surfer's ear. Early intervention can drastically reduce the need for invasive treatments.

Surfer's Ear Prevention

Like any medical condition, prevention is always better than cure. Surfer’s ear prevention primarily involves:

  • Ear Protection: Wear ear plugs or protective gear to reduce exposure to cold water and wind.
  • Regular Check-ups: Regular visits to ear specialists can help identify and address early signs of bone growth.
  • Ear Cleaning: Keeping the ears clean and free from excess wax can prevent complications. Regular ear canal cleaning is an effective way to maintain ear health.


While surfing is a passionate pursuit for many, it's important to be aware of the potential risks, with surfer's ear being a notable one. Regular check-ups, understanding the condition, and seeking early surfer’s ear treatment can ensure that you ride the waves without a care in the world. At The Ear Clinic, we're dedicated to providing you with the best care, ensuring that surfer's ear doesn't come between you and the ocean's call.