Cauliflower Ear: Why It Happens and How It’s Treated

If you love watching wrestling or mixed martial arts matches on TV or in person, you may have been noticing that something seems to be wrong with the ears of some of the athletes. They may look deformed, at times even looking like cauliflower. Well, it’s for this reason exactly why such is referred to as cauliflower ear. However, at times doctors refer to it as perichondrial hematoma.

No, cauliflower ear is not brought about by consuming lots and lots of cauliflower. It’s actually due to trauma to the pinna, or what everybody is calling the ear lobe. In this article, you will learn about some of the most important things you need to know about cauliflower ear. Even though it’s more common among wrestlers, mixed martial arts fighters and other types of athletes, everybody else may actually end up with it.

Don’t forget to share this article on your various social media sites afterwards to get your family members and friends also introduced to cauliflower ear.

Cause

The pinna or ear lobe is made of cartilage and not bone. The pinna has its own blood supply because the cartilage that makes up its structure also needs oxygen and nutrients, which only means that it is a living tissue. Without constant access to blood that contains oxygen and nutrients, it will surely die.

Direct trauma to the ear can cause the blood vessels in the pinna to rupture, leading to the leakage of blood. This deprives the cartilage of much-needed oxygen- and nutrient-containing blood. As a result, it dies. When that happens, fibrous tissue forms around the area, and this is what causes a cauliflower-texture of the pinna to come into being.

Just about anybody who may incur direct trauma to the ear can end up with cauliflower ear, and not just wrestlers or mixed martial arts fighters, or those who love partaking in contact or extreme sports.

By the way, someone who is prescribed by his or her doctor with blood thinners is also regarded as at risk of having cauliflower ear. That’s because the blood can get so thin that it won’t stop leaking out of the blood vessels in the pinna in case they rupture.

Complications

The moment that a direct trauma to the ear strikes, it’s important to inspect the pinna right away. If there is severe swelling or bruising, there’s a huge possibility that some of the blood vessels in the area have just ruptured, signifying the start of the development of cauliflower ear.

It’s important to treat the injured pinna as soon as possible in order to keep cauliflower ear from striking. Aside from a cauliflower-like appearance of the ear lobe, a few complications may arise from cauliflower ear. Health authorities say that those who have cauliflower ear, in particular wrestlers and others who are susceptible to having it, are at risk of having hearing loss. They add that they may also become more vulnerable to having ear infections.

Treatment

As soon as direct trauma to the pinna is incurred, the individual should immediately ice the area. This will stop the bleeding within the ear lobe, thus preventing blood from pooling and also encouraging the ruptured blood vessels to heal. However, applying ice is only some kind of first aid, which means that the problem should be taken to a doctor.

Blood that has collected in the pinna will be drained by the doctor by making a small incision using a scalpel. With the blood drained, the ear lobe can be kept from ending up deformed. Antibiotics may be prescribed afterwards in order to keep an infection at bay.

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