In simple words, cauliflower ear is the ear deformity due to trauma. It is most common in sports like Boxing, BJJ, and MMA, where the competitors constantly hit each other during professional fights and intense training.
When a fighter, particularly, repeatedly gets hit to his ear, his ear starts to appear lumpy and deformed. It is because the trauma to the ear damage the blood vessels and cause the cartilage to grow, which distorts the ear shape.
This damage to the blood vessel is also known as ‘Hematoma’.
But, the question is, can you prevent it?
Yes, you can. However, first, it is pertinent to know the symptoms of it… The initial symptoms of cauliflower ear include:
- Ear pain
- Swelling of the ear
- Ringing in the ear
- Blurred vision
In some cases, you can deal with a fever. This especially happens when you leave this condition untreated. The constant pain and the head pressure compel your body to deal with it and sometimes, in fact, cause permanent deformity too.
Please, remember that the cauliflower ear isn’t in the combat sports only. It can happen to a common person too. It is indeed rather common among children.
When you pull or pinch their ear as punishment, in a way, their ear becomes traumatized. It becomes painful to touch. Though they can’t explain the condition well, they feel trouble talking on the phone or lying on the pillow.
How To Prevent Cauliflower Ear
There are many ways to prevent cauliflower ear, such as:
- Use Appropriate Headgear… If you are in combat sports, it is imperative to use best headgear or ear guard at least. They decrease the risk of cauliflower ear, as their protective shell guard you against hard hits. Lots of professional companies, like Cliff Keen, Matman, and Ascis are famous for providing headgears to combat players in BJJ and MMA. Their products are 100% tested and used by professional fighters too.
- Drainage And Compression… The second option you have is ‘Drainage’. In case you are dealing with the pockets of fluid in your ear, the best thing you can do is to drain the excess blood from your ear. It is better to consult a professional physician for it as he can recommend specific antibiotics as well to help prevent infection. Some fighters choose to do this step themselves with the help of their teammate.
- Surgical Repair… Sometimes, cauliflower ear can become permanent. It is not possible to reverse the appearance of it even after drainage. If you are dealing with permanent deformity, the only option you have is a surgical repair. In the surgical process, doctors remove some cartilages and use stitches to reshape the ear. There is another surgical method too that reduces the size of deformity and stretches the skin back over the ear.
In general, it is better to treat cauliflower ear conditions immediately.
All these above methods assist you in preventing it in the first place.
It is indeed best to use the headgear always if you are in contact sports, but if you are already dealing with deformity, it doesn’t matter whether it is temporary or permanent, consult your doctor first.
Treating this condition on your own can be risky and damage the condition even more.