Earplugs / ear infections????

Since I started rolling a lot I have had constant external ear infections in both ears. Anti-biotics make it go away, but then it comes right back.

Think I may have to start using earplugs for paddling. Maybe this will help.

Anyone out there have the same problem? If so, what earplugs do you recommend using?



you know it!
Had same problems and ear plugs will help a lot.

http://www.proplugs.com/ These were the best by far after trying all kinds of drugstore variety. Without ear plugs and nose plugs it’s guaranteed I get a sinus infection since water in my head won’t drain out completely and then festers. So I religiously use them for practice sessions but an accidental capsize means I may have to pay the price. One other tip should you forget or get water in your head. Even if you have earplugs in, without a nose plug you can still get an ear infection. I bought a device called the Grossan Irragator which is really a water pic with a nostril piece that allows you to rinse your sinus passages thourghly with a solution they sell called Breathe-ease XL. Pretty much like a saline solution which others have posted about. It’s been great for getting pool water completely flushed out and (knock on wood) I have gone from 3-4 brutal infections a year to maybe one! For those of you reading this who are newbies and are horror stricken thinking that all water is toxic and you are gonna get sick all the time don’t worry. It’s just that some of us have “one way” sinus systems where water will go in but it won’t come back out fast enough and creates a chain of reactions. You already know if you have sinus issues.

Seconding Doc’s Proplugs

– Last Updated: Jan-13-07 9:52 AM EST –

I'm not prone to infections, but find I get nauseous in rolling sessions. The vented Doc's Proplugs are great.

My wife was starting to have additional issues with water in her ears from rolling and ProPlugs took care of it.

The vented ones allow you to hear and keep pressure equalized. The venting holes are small enough that they do not allow water in.

I also recommend getting the tethered ones.

Thank you soooo much for the tips!
I’m sitting here “grounded” by my doctor for a week, due to my first ear infection.

ProPlugs, here I come!

I get form fitted
ones from a hearing testing company. They inject a plastic type mold directly into the ear for a complete fit.

alcohol for ears
Matt - I had the same problem and my doc says my eardrums are scarred from repeated infections. Since he told me to put drops of alcohol in my ears every time they get wet, I have not had an ear infection in at least 10 years. I apply a few drops every morning even after a shower. His recipe was 1 teaspon of white vinegar to a pint bottle of isopropyl alcohol. I then pour from the pint bottle into a small plastic dropper bottle. Works for me.

Also, try a mask.
With roll practice limited to the lake, a scuba mask makes it much more enjoyable for me.

Alchohol and white vinegar, too
Second the alcohol and white vinegar. My doctor recommended 25% white vinegar though. The vinegar is to adjust the PH to kill/prevent bacteria.

I’ve been using it for at least 5 years. I’ve found if I use the drops after every shower, the skin in my ear get too dry and irritated, so I’ve dropped back to about once per week, and always after being in the lake.

Ear plugs would work too of course, though the alcohol and vinegar shouldn’t hurt once in awhile to dry out the ears and adjust the PH. Check with your doctor of course.

The plugs are great for protection against cold water damage too. I really should have them myself for that reason.

Paul S.

Hydrogen peroxide flushing
I used alcohol for years as a child but then had a fungal ear infection from southern salt water snorkeling. For that the docter recommended hydrogen peroxide. I have tried to use it everyday since then and never got ear infection again. It doesn’t dry out your ears like alcohol but it seems to keep things from growing too much. Of couse it sounds like rice krispies in my ear “snap crackle popping” after I swin in a lake.

For my sinuses I use a saline solution and a nasal irrigator. Sinuses are funny because they don;'t get enough blood flow to deliver antibiotics well, so flushing is often more effecdtive than an antibiotic. Once I learn to irrigate properly, I had the added benefit of getting used to water up my nose. That means no more need for nose plugs while paddling!

Please don’t take my comments as advice. Talk to your Docter. I’m not a doctor. Your results may vary. Don’t sue me…etc.

More for Doc’s
I haven’t gotten a full blown infection, but did develop some pain in my right ear the first season I had a solid enough roll that I was constantly wet. Doc’s Plugs have kept that at bay.

I was doing the hydrogen peroxide thing at one point, but a local paddler who is also a doctor made negative noises about that on one paddle. I didn’t ever find out the details of why, since I was gong to the ear plugs at that point anyway.

definately use earplugs
I developed BAD ear infections rolling in the Chesapeake Bay. After three years I’d get an ear infection in 24hrs. I think I was getting sensitized to whatever was in the water. Flushing with alcohol/vinegar/peroxide didn’t stop it. Use the ear plugs.

my attorney has cleared me
to make the following post

Do what I do: fingers in your ears, and a mean elbow roll

Warning: this technique costs more than ear plugs if you don’t use a paddle leash