Exostosis (Surfer’s Ear)

Exostosis, sometimes referred to as surfer’s ear, occurs when there is abnormal bone growth within the ear canal. This thickening and constriction of the ear canal can lead to conduction hearing loss. Ear wax and other debris can become trapped in the canal, which can cause frequent ear infections. The most common cause of exostosis is cold water and windy conditions, which makes exostosis especially prevalent among surfers, outdoor swimmers, and divers.

Exostoses frequently occur in both ears; however, they can grow at different rates. These growths do not resolve on their own; however, it often takes years before they are large enough to cause symptoms and require treatment.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Most patients develop the surfer’s ear in their mid-30s. Exostoses present as small bony lumps within the external ear canal. These lumps are very slow growing and typically take years to develop. They develop as thin layers of bone growth due to the stimulation of cold water or air.

Symptoms
Treatment
Prevention
Infographic

Get In Touch

Request An Appointment

  • * All indicated fields must be completed.
    Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get In Touch

Request Appointment

  • * All indicated fields must be completed.
    Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

unnamed 1
Saint John Logo
unnamed 1
unnamed 2
unnamed
unnamed
unnamed 4
Scroll to Top