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.