Cauliflower Ear Explained: How It Affects Your Hearing

Posted by:gulf onDecember 29, 2017

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Cauliflower ear, also known as perichondrial hematoma, is a swelling of the ear resulting from blood clot, which is caused by any physical damage to the body due to violence, fracture, or accident. This blood clot leads to a lumpy appearance that resembles a cauliflower. It is also famously known as wrestler’s ear, because wrestlers are usually the ones suffering from this deformity due to the nature of their job.

Image source: USA Today

Wrestlers are not the only ones that are at risk to having cauliflower ears. Other sports where blunt-force trauma occurs are also at risk, such as rugby, boxing, and martial arts. Those who have piercings in the upper portion of their ear may also suffer when an ear infection occurs. Another scenario is when you are involved in a vehicular accident, especially if you are riding a bike or a motorcycle, and you have not been wearing a helmet when the accident happened.

After a trauma, the damage may either be minimal or result to death of the cartilage, causing the ears to fold over because there are no more nutrients coming from the cartilage. In some cases, however, severe symptoms may occur and may result to ringing in the ear, headaches, and hearing loss.

A study that appeared in the “Asian Journal of Sports Medicine” reveals that the prevalence of hearing loss among wrestlers who have cauliflower ears is significantly higher than those who do not have it, as confirmed by audiological tests. Thereby, experts recommend an ear infection prevention and prompt treatment to prevent possible hearing loss in those suffering from cauliflower ears.

Athletes should wear a properly fit head gear to prevent the occurrence of cauliflower ears. If you are thinking of having your ears pierced, make sure that you discuss with your doctor the risks associated with the procedure so necessary preventative steps can be taken.

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