Swim free from risks to ear health

Ears are like snowflakes – every single one has a unique shape and geometry. Which is why, at Hearology, we only make swim plugs from impressions taken with one of our revolutionary, 3D ear scanners. These scanners use light to take a photograph of the resting geometry of your ear canal, resulting in perfect-fit ear protection devices, and the guaranteed prevention of water ingress.

Swimmers’ ears are particularly at risk, because any water that is left in the ear for a long time becomes stagnant, and causes an infection. If the water is dirty, then an infection can result whether or not any water is left to pool within the ear. The presence of ear wax further increases the chances of water becoming trapped in your ear.

Open swimmers’ ears have an additional challenge to deal with, as cold wind and cold water prompt the body to increase the flow of blood to the surface of the bone surrounding the ear canal to protect against the refrigeration effect. If this phenomenon occurs regularly, lumps of new, bony growth develop which constrict the ear canal. The medical term for these bony growths is exostosis, also commonly referred to as ‘Surfer's Ear’.

A normal ear canal is approximately 7mm in diameter, and whilst hearing impairment normally doesn’t occur until the canal narrows to 2mm, any constriction further increases the chances of water or other debris becoming trapped in the ear canal during swimming. The combination of excessive ear wax production and exostosis is likely to result in blockages within the ear canal that cause hearing impairment.

Exostosis growths can be removed – but it’s quite a painful process. Ear infections can be treated – but are extremely uncomfortable in the meantime.

Why take the risk when both conditions are so easy to prevent, by using ear protection?

If you do decide to use ear protection, then customised swim plugs from Hearology using our revolutionary 3D ear scanner, are guaranteed to keep your ear canal completely free from water.

Generic swim plugs, unlike customised ones, may or may not fit your ear well.

We can further customise your swim plugs to the colour and design of your choice, including your name or initials, and the inclusion of a lanyard.

Vincent Howard of Hearology performs a 3D scan on a member of the Serpentine Swimming club at one of the club’s events in Hyde Park, London.