Cauliflower ear, also known as wrestler’s ear, is a condition that results from repetitive trauma to the external ear. The condition is caused by damage to the cartilage of the ear, which results in the formation of a blood clot or hematoma. Over time, the clot can become firm and calcify, leading to a permanent deformation of the ear’s shape.
Cauliflower ear is most commonly seen in athletes who participate in contact sports such as wrestling, boxing, and martial arts. However, it can also occur in people who have experienced repeated trauma to the ear, such as those who have undergone multiple ear surgeries.
Symptoms of cauliflower ear typically include pain, swelling, and redness of the affected ear. As the condition progresses, the ear may become increasingly misshapen and may even become completely deformed. In some cases, cauliflower ear can lead to hearing loss, as the deformation can cause the ear canal to narrow or become blocked.
Treatment for cauliflower ear typically involves draining the hematoma and restoring the normal contour of the ear. This may be done through aspiration, in which a needle is used to drain the blood clot, or through incision and drainage, in which a small incision is made in the ear and the clot is removed. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged cartilage and reshape the ear.
Prevention of cauliflower ear involves wearing protective gear such as headgear or helmets during contact sports. Additionally, athletes should avoid continued trauma to the ear and seek medical attention promptly if they experience any symptoms of cauliflower ear.
In summary, cauliflower ear is a condition that results from repeated trauma to the external ear, most commonly seen in athletes who participate in contact sports. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and deformation of the ear, and treatment involves draining the hematoma and restoring the normal contour of the ear. Prevention involves wearing protective gear and avoiding continued trauma to the ear.