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How Cauliflower Ear Can Cause Hearing Loss if Left Untreated

Boxer gloves with ear image

Cauliflower ear is a traumatic ear deformity that causes pain, bruising, swelling and a pale, withered appearance. It results when a hematoma forms in the ear after a blunt trauma incident, thereby cutting off the blood supply and killing the cartilage. Those affected are left with a shriveled ear from the deteriorating cartilage.

Cauliflower Ear Risk Factors

It is impossible to be born with a cauliflower ear; this ear deformity is acquired from physical trauma. Cauliflower ear is common among athletes who sustain head injuries and are frequently struck. For example, wrestlers, rugby players, martial artists, boxers and other contact-sport athletes are especially at risk.

To reduce the risk of cauliflower ear, athletes should wear a head guard, scrum cap or other head and face protection equipment.

Cauliflower Ear Treatment is Essential to Ear Function and Aesthetics

Cauliflower ear must be treated immediately for the sake of the patient’s long-term hearing and aesthetics. Dr. Maurice Khosh can repair cauliflower ear by grafting or shaving cartilage to reestablish proper ear shape.

To maximize treatment benefits, the hematoma may need to be drained, the infection treated and inflammation reduced.

Cauliflower Ear’s Link to Hearing Loss and Balance Issues

If left untreated, cauliflower ear can cause significant pain and loss of balance and hearing. A study focused solely on wrestlers found that those with cauliflower ear had a far greater documented prevalence of hearing loss than their peers without cauliflower ear.

In another study involving wrestlers, the researchers found that those with both cauliflower ears had more hearing loss than their peers with one cauliflower ear. They also analyzed balance and found that the wrestlers with two cauliflower ears had significantly worse static and dynamic balance than their peers without, especially in their non-dominant leg.

Avoid Cauliflower Ear Complications by Scheduling an Appointment with Dr. Khosh

You can trust Dr. Khosh to help you with your cauliflower ear. He is an accomplished facial plastic surgeon renowned for his work on the ears. Call our Manhattan office at (212) 966-0010 to inquire about our services for treating cauliflower ear. Dr. Khosh uses cutting-edge otoplasty procedures to repair various ear problems, bringing back the ear’s innate aesthetic appeal and functionality.

Posted on behalf of Maurice M. Khosh, MD, FACS

Maurice M. Khosh, MD, FACS
580 Park Avenue Suite 1BE,
New York, NY 10065
(212) 339-9988

What Dr. Khosh's Patients Say


Based on 174 reviews

Meredith G.
Saw Dr. Khosh for a fractured nose. He reset my nose beautifully (and with little discomfort to me) and then discussed some of my sinus issues with me upon my follow up visit. Never felt like he was rushing me out and felt very confident in his abilities. I would highly recommend to anyone needing plastic or reconstructive options!
Jackie C.
Great front office, really good experience after what was a terrible accident. I was made to feel comfortable. Dr. Khosh is very good at what he does. I'm still healing but I'm confident of the results
Kaitlin M.
Dr. Khosh takes exceptional care of his patients. He has operated on me twice, each time making me feel extremely comfortable and satisfied with the results. His staff is also very kind and knowledgeable.
Diana G.
Dr. Khosh & his staff Susan & Christine are absolutely amazing! They were so supportive & helpful from beginning to end & they are just wonderful people. Thank you guys I truly appreciate everything you guys have done for me. I would recommend them to anyone & everyone!
Joann M.
After visiting and being evaluated by several doctors, I kept going back to Dr. Khosh. His tranquil spirit and professionalism were captivating. Thank you for a job well done and keeping me calm throughout the entire process. A special thanks to your staff Susan and Christine for all of their support as well. Hi highly recommend Dr. Khosh.
Leah G.
Upon hearing of the overwhelmingly positive experience a friend of mine had in choosing Dr. Khosh as her surgeon, I decided to make an appointment for my own septoplasty/rhinoplasty/turbinate reduction. Although I was slightly skeptical as the praise I had heard seemed a bit hyperbolic, all uncertainty dissipated after meeting the Doctor and his staff. My pre- and post-operative experience was excellent in terms of concerns adequately addressed prior to the surgery and mitigation of any bruising in the convalescent period. Despite my apparent predisposition to rather slower healing, a year after the surgery, my nose looks really pretty and my breathing entirely unobstructed! I highly recommend Dr. Khosh!
Courtney G.
AMAZING!!!!!! I had Dr Khosh perform lipo on my chin/neck and my result is unbelievable! Better than I could have expected! I met with a couple of surgeons and the second I met with Dr Khosh I knew he was the one I was going with. He was compassionate and explained every detail of what would take place during the surgery and what to expect during recovery. I even emailed a few times during recovery with various questions and he got right back to me asap which was really comforting! I honestly fully recommend Dr Khosh, he did an amazing job and is an amazing person.
Frieda S.
i can finally breathe!! Dr. Khosh made the entire experience a breeze, it was truly a pleasure to be under his care. I am forever thankful and highly recommend him. Not only does his work speak for himself, but he has excellent bedside manner. His kindness and patience is above and beyond. He takes the time to answer to every question you have to help you understand the process while at the same time making you feel so comfortable. From the first consultation i knew i was in good hands. I am so pleased with the result and forever thankful.
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