Exostosis of the external auditory canal: when the bone in the ear grows more than it should

Exostosis of the ear canal is a growth of the bone in the ear canal that makes it narrower and narrower. It is a problem that affects people who are in continuous contact with water, especially cold water. That is why it is also known as surfer’s ear, swimmer’s ear or diver’s ear.

Symptoms of external auditory canal exostosis

The main symptom is ear plugging after bathing, recurrent otitis and, in more severe cases, hearing loss due to complete closure of the canal.

Treatment of exostosis of the external auditory canal

Generally, this disease belonging to the field of Otorhinolaryngology is treated with conservative measures, i.e. periodic cleaning of the canal. However, there are cases in which the symptoms are more severe or recur more frequently because the caliber of the duct is too small and surgery is needed to increase the diameter of the duct again. This operation resolves the symptoms and returns the duct to a normal caliber.

Benefits of the minimally invasive technique for ear canal exostosis

In most centers where this surgery is performed, it is done behind the pinna with a drill with drills of different caliber to reopen the canal. Currently there is a new minimally invasive technique that consists of operating through the canal and without the need to open behind the ear. With this technique the postoperative period is much more bearable, there are no scars, recovery is much faster and the patient can return to water sports in less than a month.