During the 1994 US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, California, a total of 307 surfers were screened on external auditory exostoses (EAE). There was a 73.5% overall prevalence of external auditory exostoses and a 19.2% overall prevalence of osteomas in the group studied. A positive association exists between the amount of time individuals spend surfing and the presence and severity of exostoses of the external auditory canal.
Exostoses are generally benign maladies that do not require surgery. In this population, 43.5% had received conventional therapy for external auditory infection and 5.2% had undergone elective surgical intervention (tympanostomy tubes and canalplasty) for severe disease.
Wearing ear molds, ear plugs, visored caps, and hoods may prevent exostoses by preventing the entry of cold water into the external ear canal.