I'm going deaf. I'm sure I don't hear as well as I used to. As a teacher as well as a surfer I'm not entirely sure I mind either really. I've never liked noise much and I adore peace and quiet so may be I shouldn't worry too much. I don't but......
ear candles from the local Chinese herbalist, set fire to them and stuck them in her ears...I was intrigued. I had visions of salt and seaweed oozing from my ear and perfect harmony with my surroundings restored. I decided to have a go.
The herbalist who spoke little English and was short and kind of quirky, quickly talked me into a "package" and before I could say "Ni Hao" I was lying in a private cubicle with a Chinese octogenarian at the helm. The candle was burnt and stuck in my left ear and apart from the odd sensation of having a mini Olympic torch stuck in you ear with a disconcertingly large flame, things went pretty smoothly.
It was the right ear when things started to go wrong........... the hole was simply a lot smaller and the torch struggled to make its way down to any depth in my ear canal. Not only that it was all bony and pretty sensitive.....I started to have a vague recollection of what was up.....
About 4 years ago I had been to a doctor about something to do with me ears and he'd got his kaleidoscope out and informed me I had "surfers ear" and had lost about 40 % of my right ear canal as the bony growth had taken hold. I'd long since forgotten his words but I do seem to remember him telling me that cold water is the culprit and ear plugs and twat caps the solution.
It seems that cold water surfers are 6 times more likely to suffer from it and warm and dry is the only way forward. It can lead to lack of immunity to infection and obviously loss of hearing......so for this little surfer the blu tac is coming out and the twat cap. The most drastic cases involve drugs and saws and ear canals....no thanks.
For more information on surfer's ear click hear.