5 reasons to wear earplugs...

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Lowri Davies
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5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Lowri Davies »

I wear ear plugs. I have many reasons / motives for this, including previous infections, seeing friends have to go through the dreaded operation for surfers ear and generally disliking gushes of cold water being flushed through my head. On the river I am often asked why I wear them and where to get them, so I thought I'd put this information together in one place.

So, for 5 good reasons to wear earplugs (and details on how to get NHS ones moulded to fit your ears) - click here! Be warned, the first photo is pretty minging.

If you have any questions or any further advice, please comment below or on the linked page.

Happy paddling (with happy ears).

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Adrian Shanahan
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

If you freestyle / spend allot of time in the water wear earplugs.

I only need one reminder, my mate ended up leaving it too late so this is the result.

Image

Image

Image

Was chatting to him yesterday and is currently waiting operation on his left ear.

Adrian

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mpooleman
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by mpooleman »

FlowFree wrote:Having Surfer’s Ear makes you more likely to get Surfer’s Ear too!
??
Mark Pooleman

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Adrian Shanahan
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

I had meant to add, great idea for a blog post Lowri.

A

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Lowri Davies
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Lowri Davies »

mpooleman wrote:
FlowFree wrote:Having Surfer’s Ear makes you more likely to get Surfer’s Ear too!
??
Oops, that should have read "Having Surfer's Ear makes you more likely to get Swimmer's Ear" - I've corrected the post now, cheers!
Adrian Shanahan wrote:If you freestyle / spend allot of time in the water wear earplugs.
Common mis-conception that only freestyle paddlers need ear plugs. White water paddlers are subject to cold winds and water jetting into the ear canal too. Even if you capsize infrequently, paddling through stoppers, waves or off drops is likely to send water into your ear. Although helmets and skull caps with ear protection do help, they do not prevent it as ear plugs do.

For those who chose not to wear ear plugs, I'm really interested to hear why?

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by C.I.W.W »

Don’t forget, SURF PLUGS at CIWW, FREE consultation, 15:00 onwards of Friday the 19th of November.

Visit http://www.surfplugs.co.uk/

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RichA
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by RichA »

CIWW, that's great to hear. I wonder if something similar could be arranged at HPP or perhaps a local canoe shop?

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mpooleman
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by mpooleman »

I'm really interested to hear why?
I am giften in the ancient art of losing everything
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Adrian Shanahan
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

mpooleman wrote:
I'm really interested to hear why?
I am giften in the ancient art of losing everything
You are of course taking the piss...

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Lowri Davies
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Lowri Davies »

mpooleman wrote:
I'm really interested to hear why?
I am giften in the ancient art of losing everything
Including your hearing? ;-)

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by scottdog007 »

Lowri Davies wrote:I wear ear plugs. I have many reasons / motives for this, including previous infections......................
You're not a managing director of an ear plug company, are you? I jest, but i'm beginning to get frightened going over in the water now. I wear a nose plug and always forget to put it on.

Anyway I better go to ebay and order some ear plugs now. Em what colour?

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by StoneWeasel »

I used to paddle with an earwig on my bonce (the neoprene cap, not the insect) as it was thought this would stop surfers ear, it didn't, I have horrific surfers ear and now wear earplugs without fail.

If you don't have any earplugs get some and wear them, my ears suck and trust me when I say you don't want yours to get like them.

Denzil

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by freddie »

I had a nice set of custom earplugs, which I lost, so I currently use blu-tac for freestyle (when I remember), which seems to work quite well.

I don't wear earplugs when creeking, as I have the earpads on my Sweet Rocker which stop a bit of water, and my hearing is bad enough with them on that if I had earplugs as well I wouldn't be able to hear anything. Bit of a self-deprecating cycle really.
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

Lowri Davies wrote:For those who chose not to wear ear plugs, I'm really interested to hear why?
I have a set of NHS moulded ones, which I do wear when I'm playboating, or otherwise think I'm going to get very wet in a safe enviroment...

However unlike yourself, I [very nearly] can't hear with them in (nothing in my left ear, very quiet in my right), so on a river I tend to leave them out in case I miss something important... Having well preseved ears attached to a badly mistreated me seems to be a little bit of an absurdity.
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Pete C.
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Pete C. »

StoneWeasel wrote:I used to paddle with an earwig on my bonce (the neoprene cap, not the insect) as it was thought this would stop surfers ear, it didn't, I have horrific surfers ear and now wear earplugs without fail.
Me too. I've been wearing plugs for the last ten years or so and it's stopped it getting any worse, but I wish I'd started earlier. Custom plugs are the best investment you can make in your long-term paddling health.

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by mpooleman »

Lowri Davies wrote:Including your hearing? ;-)
Fair Comment. I would say the real reason is that I know a lot of people who have paddled for years and are fine, so never really thought about it. I did wear some over the counter ones when I got an ear infection in uganda, but then stoppen once I got home and sorted. Just pot luck I suppose.

I would seriously consider getting some though (especially after those photos above and on surfplugs)

Mark
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Lowri Davies
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Lowri Davies »

mpooleman wrote:
Lowri Davies wrote:Including your hearing? ;-)
Fair Comment. I would say the real reason is that I know a lot of people who have paddled for years and are fine, so never really thought about it. I did wear some over the counter ones when I got an ear infection in uganda, but then stoppen once I got home and sorted. Just pot luck I suppose.

I would seriously consider getting some though (especially after those photos above and on surfplugs)

Mark
I think the thing is that many more paddlers have surfer's ear than realise they do. The on-set is gradual so you may not realise your hearing is getting gradually worse. There was a study at APWE last year which had staggering results (can anyone find the link?). I massive proportion of those studied had bony growth in the ear. Only a small percentage of those were aware of that.

If this information makes more people seriously consider the protection they give their ears while paddling, I'll be very happy.

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by denchy1 »

Im looking to get some ear plug as I paddle a fair bit at hpp, do the NHS ones come with a leash like pro plugs because if they wearnt attached to my helmet id give it a session before i lost them. How much do they cost and am I right there free if your a student.

Cheers

Jon

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Slartibartfast »

You have convinced me. I am off to get some. Never had them in the past because I considered my boating to not be that extreme, wild, or frequent enough to make a difference. But I do white water up to grade 3, but even wearing a Sweet helmet with built in ear muffs (that what they feel like anyway) it looks like I could be vulnerable over a period of time anyway.

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by steddyjames »

mpooleman wrote:
I'm really interested to hear why?
I am giften in the ancient art of losing everything
Me to, but I also have surfers ear which is under control after wearing plugs for the past 10 years or so.

To solve the losing them problem I have about 5 pairs in circulation at the moment. I leave a couple in the van, a set in my wifes car, a set in my travel bag, and another set around the house. That way I've no excuse and always wear them for kayaking, surfing and swimming.

Diving is the only sport I can't wear ear plugs for. The only other time is when I'm surfing in a hot country, I then treat myself to being able to hear what's going on around me......I'm on holiday afterall!!!

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Simon Westgarth »

denchy1 wrote:Im looking to get some ear plug as I paddle a fair bit at hpp, do the NHS ones come with a leash like pro plugs because if they wearnt attached to my helmet id give it a session before I lost them. How much do they cost and am I right there free if your a student.
The NHS swimmers plugs can come with a leash attachment. If your ear shape does not hold the plugs tight, perhaps consider a leash attachment when ordering.

Now the real question raised above is who should wear plugs, clearly playboaters and suffers should as the amount of time rolling or having waves crash into your head is high. If you're a creeker, it might not be compolsory, but you should strongly consider plugs, general river runners, may be not.

I required the op on my left ear, almost 10 years ago, and have worn Swimmers plugs ever since, and not had one ear infection since. The ProPlugs are a poor second to the custom Swimmers plugs, and an earwig is more about keeping your head warm than preventing Surfers Ear. Lastly if you can find a consultant that does the op often, you may avoid the earlugg flap approach that gives the big scar. At St Michaels in Bristol, where I had my Op are ace, and their approach was through keyhole surgery from the front on the ear.

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by eeonz »

Out of interest, what are peoples experiences of using the ear wig and the pro plugs? I find the pro plugs to be pretty good, but leak a little when worn with an ear wig skull cap (presumably because the water is held captive against the ear within the cap).
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Mark R »

Lowri Davies wrote:There was a study at APWE last year which had staggering results (can anyone find the link?).
It was actually years ago - long enough ago to be when most people actually went along to hear the talks. I don't know why the results only just came into the public domain.

I remember the clinician telling me I had it at the time - anyone know if there is any way to assess the state of your ears for yourself?
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by buck197 »

I see Surfplugs are doing a demo thing at CIWW and at £60 a pair plus another £10 they must be something special. What can be in them that costs so much as to be £70 a set, me thinks rip-off and look forward to hearing what they may have to say. Having read this thread am now swung in the favour of plugs, which is the best and most cost effective protection other than being Plain Lazy and staying in bed?
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Alec Ferris »

Jee-zus! Good idea for a thread, though o.O
I started using plugs last year, and was reminded recently of why I did when my brother and I bought the same brand of earphones- the actually pods that go into my ears are about 2/3 the diameter of the ones he uses.
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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by ClareM »

Hi there, I've just registered on UK Rivers-inspired by the discussion taking place about ear plugs!

I'm very much in favour of ear plugs myself. I trained as an Audiologist and have taken hundreds of ear impressions for swim plugs and hearing aids over the years and also seen 'surfers ear' as a result of subjecting ears to cold water.

I have liaised directly with an ear mould manufacturer when I took up kayaking, so I have a pair myself and have made several pairs for other kayaking friends.

Usually NHS clinics do charge adults for ear plugs and prices will vary dependant on manufacturers used and staff that take the impressions etc. and you'll more than likely need a referral from your GP to an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant who will send you to an Audiologist if they think it's appropriate. It's certainly not a given that you'll be referred for ear plugs as a 'just in case you're at risk from surfer's ear'.Usually they'll recommend them if there are signs that the bony growths have started to appear.

Other options could be to visit a hearing aid high street dispenser and see how much they charge, as they will have contracts with ear mould manufacturers and are qualified to take the impressions.

You can't hear very well with them, which is unfortunate. The problem is that the material used needs to fit your ear snugly to prevent any water entering your ear canal, so you have to be selective when you wear them.

As for checking your ears for any signs, you can purchase otoscopes (the equipment used to look in ear canals) but I wouldn't necessarily advise it unless you know how to use them and what you're looking for! A practice nurse at your GP surgery may be able to check them at a routine appointment.

Hope this helps...

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by glaurenson »

buck197 wrote:I see Surfplugs are doing a demo thing at CIWW and at £60 a pair plus another £10 they must be something special. What can be in them that costs so much as to be £70 a set, me thinks rip-off and look forward to hearing what they may have to say. Having read this thread am now swung in the favour of plugs, which is the best and most cost effective protection other than being Plain Lazy and staying in bed?
Amazon reseller selling these for £13.50

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/search/ref= ... 1289425308

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by -Ginge- »

just paid 2 quid for some swimming plugs, nose and ear in tesco. seem to work ok to me. can hardly here a thing though

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Simon »

Simon Westgarth wrote:Lastly if you can find a consultant that does the op often, you may avoid the earlugg flap approach that gives the big scar. At St Michaels in Bristol, where I had my Op are ace, and their approach was through keyhole surgery from the front on the ear.
Agreed.

This was my right ear canal before the op (last Thursday).

Image

And my ear the following day

Image

All done inside the ear canal. My lumps were chiselled out, not drilled, which is said to be more pain free, and that seems to be the case. Only paracetamol needed so far (touch wood). The packing comes out next week.

Simon

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Re: 5 reasons to wear earplugs...

Post by Simon »

Adrian Shanahan wrote: Image
Adrian
Just out of curiosity - where was this done? Which hospital.

Simon

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