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External auditory canal exostoses in white water kayakers
  1. A Cooper1,
  2. R Tong1,
  3. R Neil1,
  4. D Owens2,
  5. A Tomkinson2
  1. 1Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Dr Richard Tong, Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff CF23 6XD, UK; rtong{at}uwic.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective In this study, the presence and severity of external auditory canal exostoses (EACE) in a group of white water kayakers related to the duration and intensity of kayaking and the number of ear infections reported were identified.

Design A community-based volunteer cross-sectional study was completed with 92 kayakers (69 men, 23 women; mean (SD) age 29.3 (8.72) years) and 65 control volunteers (37 men, 28 women; mean (SD) age 36.9 (14.9) years). After exclusions, 269 individual ears were examined (154 kayakers and 115 controls). Participants completed a questionnaire and underwent otoscopic examination. Main outcome measures were the presence and severity of EACE, the duration and frequency of kayaking and self-reported ear infections. Exclusion criteria included other cold-water exposure, known ear pathology or poor visualisation of the auditory canal.

Results The findings demonstrated that 69.5% of kayaker ears and 1.7% of the control group were found to have EACE. Severity of EACE was significantly associated with the duration (p<0.01) and frequency (p<0.05) of kayaking with 90.6% of kayakers that had participated for more than 10 years having evidence of EACE. A significant relationship also existed between the number of self-reported ear infections and the severity of EACE (p<0.01).

Conclusion There is a positive relationship between the duration and frequency of white water kayaking and the presence and severity of EACE and associated ear infections.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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