Unique Swim Plugs That Allow You to Hear While Protecting Your Ears from The Effect of Water

Watersports enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from surfers, swimmers, kiteboarders, canoeists…Activities could be in chlorinated water (a swimming pool), fresh open water or the sea, and require different ‘kit’ to take part.

However, the one common factor for both professional’s or recreational enthusiasts who spend a lot of time on or in the water is the need to protect their ears (although many do not know it). This protection comes in the form of swim plugs, and is essential to prevent ear problems including surfer’s ear and swimmer’s ear.

What is Surfer’s ear?

The name Surfer’s ear suggests that it is something that surfers suffer from, which is indeed true, with prevalence up to 73% in some surfing populations1. However, other water lovers are not immune.

Surfer’s Ear is common amongst surfers, but all water users can get it

Surfer’s ear is caused by exposing your ears to wind and cold water, which triggers the bone around the ear canal to thicken and form lumps, known as exostoses. Over time, as the bumps continue to grow, the canal becomes restricted and the ear drum is no longer visible; a complete blockage can lead to substantial conductive hearing loss. The colder the water and wind, the greater the risk factor and speed that the exostoses will grow – although you can up your wetsuit thickness to combat the cold, you’re completely missing your ear safety if you do not protect them.

Surfers Ear: A diagram showing bony growths – exostoses – in the ear canal (Source: TravelGrom.com)

Another symptom of surfer’s ear is ear infections. Due to the exostoses, water and debris can become trapped in the ear, leading to ear infections. Once you get to a certain point, you may require surgery to remove the exostoses (reportedly a rather painful procedure which we will not go into detail about). After surgery, the patient has to avoid any cold-water activities for many weeks to prevent complications or infections. Which, for those who love time on the water and are prone to FOMO, a ‘prevention rather than cure’ approach needs to be taken.

What is Swimmer’s Ear?

Another ear-related problem that regular water lovers need to be wary of is Swimmer’s ear. This tends to be more prevalent in children and young adults, however, adults can get it too; extra care should be taken in the summer months, with 44% of cases in the UK occurring in June and August2.

Parents take note – children are particularly susceptible to Swimmer’s Ear due to narrow ear canals

Swimmer’s ear is a bacterial infection in the external ear canal/outer ear. After being in water, particularly with high levels of bacteria (open water swimmers and triathletes, beware) it can be tricky to get the ears dry. They then become warm and damp, the perfect environment for an ear infection.

This can lead to itchiness, inflammation and if you are really unlucky, discharge from the ear as the infection runs its cause.

It is therefore necessary to keep your ears as dry and clean as possible, which is why swim plugs are vitally important. There are several options on the market, but if you’re looking for a durable, comfortable solution with the maximum protection possible, then Snugs Custom-Fit is the only answer.

SnugsAqua (Protect) – the ultimate swim plug solution

When it comes to protecting your ears from the problems outlined above, it is far better to be on the offense rather than defense.

SnugsAqua (Protect) is our custom-fit solution, which offers the perfect canal seal, ensuring no water can get into your ears. We now offer them with a built-in Awareness Filter; this waterproof filter retains spatiality and sound directionality so you can hear everything around you, as well as keeps your ears dry, clean and ventilated. The filter keeps air flowing through the ear; this ventilation minimizes the occlusion effect and avoids irritation within the ear canal.

SnugsAqua Protect – custom fit swim plugs with built in awareness filter

As the plugs are made for your ears only, they offer all-day comfort, so you can spend unlimited time doing what you enjoy without getting irritated ears. They are made in special colors of red and blue fluorescent, designed to be seen easily when in the water, and supplied with a lanyard to keep the swim plugs safely together. The medical-grade silicone is washable and so hygienic, and built to last – they will not deteriorate over time, making them the perfect investment to help maintain your ear health.

You can read more and order SnugsAqua (Protect) here: https://snugs.com/product/snugs-swim-surf-protection/

Take 15% off SnugsAqua (Protect), use Ambassador Sarah Jackson’s code – Sarah15 – at checkout

Sam Light, Professional Kiteboarder, Uses Snugs Aqua Protect

Situations where SnugsAqua (Protect) are the perfect choice:
In Water Activities: Swimming, Lane Swimming, Open Water swimming, Triathlon Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo, Diving, Board Diving

On Water activities: Surfers, Sailing with Crew, Sailing alone, Powerboats, Jetskis, Stand-up Paddle board, Kayakers, Canoeist, Windsurfers, Body Boarders, Kitesurfers, Wake boarders and Waterskiers.


  1. The Hearing Clinic : https://thehearingclinic.co.uk/knowledge-hub/heading-water-make-ear-plugs-must-beach-accessory/
  2. The National Center for Biotechnology Information : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534874/#:~:text=Surfer’s%20ear%20dates%20back%20to,per%201000%20people%20%5B1%5D.
  3. IMAGE: https://www.travelgrom.com/travel-blog/surfers-ear-causes-treatment-surgery

Source: (surfears.com)

Source: (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

Source: (californiaearinstitute.com)

Source: (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

Source: verywellhealth.com

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

Source: yourswimlog.com

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