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Lets discuss ear protection

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cwood
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Lets discuss ear protection

Postby cwood » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:39 pm

I had a shitty week.

On monday after work we had a beautiful 15 knot warm evening. Usually perfect at our home spot for some lofty boosting. I was 1 hour into a nice 11m Sonic session and averaging in the 35 foot range with some over 40's. I got a bit greedy with wing load (moses 637) pre release and cavitated right at kite send apex. Normally this kind of thing results in maybe an inadvertent rotation in the air and a poor landing...or a "space man" (eject the board from feet) and descent....all in the interest of keeping line tension with a heli loop or two. This time I got disoriented and looking at the kite and thinking it had turned down wind, gave a good steering line pull to complete the loop...but it was actually a mega loop at about 25 feet. Hit the water on the left side of my head first.

The pain was severe in my head and I came up for air with kite leading edge down...instinct relaunch but I had vertigo like I have never experienced....my brain didn't know what was up or left or right. I managed to steer the kite enough to keep it at 12 and consider my situation. I didn't even think I would be able to find my board I was so dizzy. After about a minute it subsided and I was able to get my board and ride back.

I was without much symptom other than a bit of a headache but over the course of two days I was leaking clear fluid from my ear. Clinic visit and doc said ear drum was intact. Another day of clear liquid and talked to an emerg doc friend and he said you gotta watch out for CSF leakage after head trauma...very thin margin between inner ear and brain fluid. Freaked out, went to Emerg and they ordered a CT scan which was normal and noted a pretty badly perforated ear drum....and the fluid typical of a rupture.

Pretty relieved my brain was not leaking as I have little to spare apparently. I wear a Gath helmet always but in the summer I remove the ear guards.

I will be putting my ear guards back on but wondered what people have found that is easy not to lose, doesn't kill your hearing and will prevent such a thing?

Foil speeds really increase the odds based on how we might fall. Consider wearing some sort of ear protection.

RustyChain
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby RustyChain » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:14 pm

I’ve had multiple ruptured ear drums. Not from water but it sucks. Hope you heal.

Macster
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby Macster » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:43 pm

Pretty unlucky to happy whilst foiling.

I always wear my Gath helmet with the full face visor. It's great for the intense sun here in Australia, stopping the foil from slicing your head open, keeping you warm in winter and protecting your ear drums.

I do freestyle and big air kitelooping on my twin tip and it's probably saved me from perforated ear drums many times over the years.

https://gathsports.com/gath-sports-shop/gath-rv/

OzBungy
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby OzBungy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:37 am

I had ear surgery for surfer's ear last year so I am very keen to protect my ears. I tried all the ear plugs and helmets and gave up on them.

Now I wear a simple surf cap with ear flaps in warm weather, and a wetsuit with an integrated hood in cold weather. The hood closes snugly around my face and keeps my ears warm and dry.

I tried every kind of helmet and to be honest they are all garbage. I was constantly hurting my neck from whiplash injuries. The adjustment and retention systems on most helmets just do not work in a speed related crash.

The Gath hats were the least worst of the helmets. My old one worked ok. The newer ones have stick on adjustment pads and the glue does not hold. A helmet that is not adjusted properly, or that goes out of adjustment when you impact, is worse than no helmet at all.

All that aside the wind noise from helmets is appalling. Here we are riding beautiful foils, slicing quietly through the water and then you add a helmet that whistles and roars in the slightest breeze.

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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby TomW » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:40 pm

I've had multiple ear drum trauma. Had doc look at it regularly. Says it's not ruptered by I have surfers ear.
I'm 58, lifetime of watersports.
Doc said I have to keep water out, and have extremely narrow outer ear canal.
I tried" surfer ears." An earplug with membrane to let sound in. Worked pretty good but won't fit in my small canal.
Tried all kinds of plugs, they fall out or let water in or hurt like hell.
During all this time I'm using open ear helmet and Gath..Gath helping but wind noise is insane.
So use open ear helmet.

Finally found these self molding ones made by Stanley at the builders store. You mix 2 parts and press into ear. They fit great, really comfy, keep water out. Unfortunately they cut out a lot of sound ( that's what they are for). I stuck with them last 6 months and my ears improved a lot.

This spring I bought a new inexpensive helmet with ear covers and a bicycle type rotating adjuster.it has way less wind noise and ear protection is sufficient.

Then I lost my ear plugs them a few weeks ago. Been kiting without plugs a few weeks and it's ok. But I notice irritation and hearing difficulty returning, so I'll have to get new molded plugs.

During last 6 months I did a lot of research and Surf Ears are only product I found. I even contacted companies making custom molded plugs for hunting and industry that have embedded electronics that adapt to environmental noise. I looked at the ones used in the music industry that cost a fortune...researched products for hearing impairment...They are not waterproof.

What I've found is the self molded ones are best. It's possible to Mold them and not push into the ear canal, so they sit on outer ear. It's like a tight fitting ear cover. That way they keep water out and protect from impact , but cut out less noise.

cwood
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby cwood » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:46 pm

TomW wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:40 pm
I've had multiple ear drum trauma. Had doc look at it regularly. Says it's not ruptered by I have surfers ear.
I'm 58, lifetime of watersports.
Doc said I have to keep water out, and have extremely narrow outer ear canal.
I tried" surfer ears." An earplug with membrane to let sound in. Worked pretty good but won't fit in my small canal.
Tried all kinds of plugs, they fall out or let water in or hurt like hell.
During all this time I'm using open ear helmet and Gath..Gath helping but wind noise is insane.
So use open ear helmet.

Finally found these self molding ones made by Stanley at the builders store. You mix 2 parts and press into ear. They fit great, really comfy, keep water out. Unfortunately they cut out a lot of sound ( that's what they are for). I stuck with them last 6 months and my ears improved a lot.

This spring I bought a new inexpensive helmet with ear covers and a bicycle type rotating adjuster.it has way less wind noise and ear protection is sufficient.

Then I lost my ear plugs them a few weeks ago. Been kiting without plugs a few weeks and it's ok. But I notice irritation and hearing difficulty returning, so I'll have to get new molded plugs.

During last 6 months I did a lot of research and Surf Ears are only product I found. I even contacted companies making custom molded plugs for hunting and industry that have embedded electronics that adapt to environmental noise. I looked at the ones used in the music industry that cost a fortune...researched products for hearing impairment...They are not waterproof.

What I've found is the self molded ones are best. It's possible to Mold them and not push into the ear canal, so they sit on outer ear. It's like a tight fitting ear cover. That way they keep water out and protect from impact , but cut out less noise.
I hadn't even heard of surfers ear until now! That's a drag. Did you try these guys?

http://www.proplugs.com/

RichR2
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby RichR2 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:22 pm

I too have had a lifetime of watersports, all in cold water (the worst for your ears) and I've suffered many of the associated problems over the years. Last year on the advice of my doctor I invested in custom moulded ear plugs...audiologist takes a mould of your ear canal and pinna and that is used to make perfectly fitting silicone ear plugs. Easy to use and no water gets in but the downside is they blot out most of the sound.

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edt
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby edt » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:24 pm

I used to break my eardrums a lot, now I use doc pro plugs. They are the best cheap ones you can get. Try them if they fit you, then you are gold. If they don't fit keep looking for ones that do.

cwood
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby cwood » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:04 pm

I ordered a pair of surf ears to try. I don't want sound gone....hard enough to hear with a helmet on without adding that.

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MattyM
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Re: Lets discuss ear protection

Postby MattyM » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:14 am

To any of you worrying about ear plugs cutting out sound....

Trust me - there are worse things to worry about.

Just. Wear. Earplugs!

10 days after first op today...
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