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Auditory canal exostoses in Irish surfers

Abstract

Aim

Surfing is increasing in popularity in Ireland. Exostoses of the external auditory canal are a common finding in those who surf in cold water. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of external canal exostoses in a population of Irish surfers.

Methods

A cross-sectional study of Irish surfers was carried out. Patients were examined and questioned on their knowledge of exostoses, surfing routine, use of barrier protection and symptoms experienced.

Results

119 surfers were analysed. 66 % of the surfers examined exhibited exostoses and 88 % were unaware of their diagnosis. Those that developed exostoses had surfed for a mean of 5,028 h, those that did not had surfed for a significantly shorter mean of 1,909 h (p = 0.0002).

Conclusions

This is first study of this nature in the UK or Ireland. With a 5- to 6-year lag phase for exostoses to develop, these patients are likely to become an increasing part of Otolaryngologist’s workload.

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Correspondence to P. Lennon.

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Lennon, P., Murphy, C., Fennessy, B. et al. Auditory canal exostoses in Irish surfers. Ir J Med Sci 185, 183–187 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-015-1265-x

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Keywords

  • Exostoses
  • Surfing
  • Surfer’s ear
  • Prevention