Why Do Wrestlers Get Cauliflower Ears? Causes, Effects & Treatment

Why Do Wrestlers Get Cauliflower ear? Causes, Effects & Treatment

Do you know why do Wrestlers get cauliflower ears: The Olympic Games of ancient Greece included competitive wrestling, an age-old and contemporary sport. 

Nowadays, wrestling matches take place in almost every country on earth. If you are new to the sport, you probably observed that many wrestlers had cauliflower ears and questioned why this was the case.

Because of the repetitive mashing caused by the smashing and rubbing, wrestlers often get cauliflower ears. 

A small layer of skin might eventually separate from the cartilage after ear trauma. This disrupts the blood supply to the ear, which leads to malformation.

We’ll be looking at the phenomena of cauliflower ear from a clinical angle in this post, and we’ll also be discussing why wrestlers are so disproportionately impacted by it. 

We’ll also go through the various medical techniques and treatment choices for controlling and avoiding cauliflower ear.

Cauliflower Ear | A Medical Perspective On Diagnosis

I should start out by saying that this is purely for informative reasons. This should not be regarded as medical advice since I am not a doctor. 

Call your physician for medical advice if you are concerned or experiencing symptoms of cauliflower ear.

Having said that, a disorder known as cauliflower ear causes an individual’s outer ear to grow hard, bloated, puffy, and deformed, looking like a cauliflower. The traumatic impact is this deformity’s primary cause.

The ear’s thin layer of skin may get separated from the cartilage as a result of repeated stress, which prevents the cartilage from getting enough blood flow and nutrients.

Redness, swelling, bruising, throbbing, ringing, and a burning feeling are the early symptoms of ear damage. 

If left untreated, these signs and symptoms may eventually progress to full-blown cauliflower ear. Contrary to most wounds, this will not heal on its own and has to be treated by a doctor.

Cauliflower is often caused certain effects, including:

  • Being punched, kicked, or having something like a basketball or football hit you in the ear
  • Repeatedly massaging or touching the ear
  • Complications from a failed cartilage ear piercing

There are several cauliflower ear severity levels, from mild to severe.

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What Causes Cauliflower Ear In Wrestlers?

Wrestlers are at significant risk of developing cauliflower ears over time due to the close contact and intense athleticism of the sport. 

A wrestler’s ear often rubs up against their opponent’s body during a grappling exchange, causing the opponent’s ear to fold, twist, and deform. 

The ear is susceptible to torsion because of the frequent smashing and head locking.

Small blood clots may develop as a result of these frequent micro-traumas to the ear, which will obstruct the flow of blood to the ear. 

It may also result in the skin’s separation from the cartilage, as thoroughly discussed above. Cauliflower ear may affect both sides for certain wrestlers while it could just affect one side for others.

A startling 44% of the 411 wrestlers who were randomly chosen for the research by the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine had cauliflower ears. This demonstrates how widespread cauliflower ear is among wrestlers.

Due to the stigma associated with treating cauliflower ears in certain wrestling cultures, many wrestlers wilfully choose not to get treatment for their condition.

Why Should Wrestlers Wear Headgear?

Wearing equipment made expressly for wrestling competitions, such as helmets, caps, and earmuffs, is the greatest approach to guard against acquiring cauliflower ear. 

These earplugs come in a variety of designs, are often form-fitting, and can be adjusted.

The amazing thing about wrestling headgear is that it almost eliminates the possibility of suffering ear damage while competing.

The disadvantage of this strategy is that some wrestlers find headgear distracting and unpleasant. 

They may sometimes overlook the headgear due to their penchant for comfort. However, headgear must be worn constantly in order to be effective. While some competitions demand the wearing of headgear, not all do.

The Cliff Keen Fusion headgear is the best on the market in terms of safety, style, and price if you’re new to the sport and want to buy excellent wrestling headgear, as we highly advise everyone to do. Additional information on why wrestlers should wear headgear.

Other Sportspeople At Risk For Cauliflower Ear

While wrestlers are by far the most prone to acquire cauliflower ear, so much so that the condition is sometimes referred to as “wrestler’s ear,” wrestlers are by no means the only ones who run the danger of doing so.

Athletes that engage in grappling sports run the risk of acquiring cauliflower ears. Judo, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and any other variation of these sports fall under this category.

In terms of both frequency of incidence and severity of the ailment, boxers, kickboxers, and Muay Thai strikers are also frequent patients of cauliflower ear, but generally to a lesser degree than grapplers.

Rugby players are often prone to ear ailments outside of contact sports, such as cauliflower ear.

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Effects Of Cauliflower Ear On Health?

The most alarming of these negative health outcomes, cauliflower ear, is the increased chance of hearing loss and deafness.

11.5% of the participants in the earlier-mentioned research from the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine who had cauliflower ears reported having hearing loss. 

In contrast, just 1.8% of the 56% of those without cauliflower ears reported suffering hearing loss.

This offers enough empirical data to draw the conclusion that hearing loss and cauliflower ear do really correlate. 

Why Do Wrestlers Get Cauliflower ear?

In addition to being very painful and unpleasant, cauliflower ears may make it difficult to sleep because they rub against your pillow.

The aesthetic attractiveness of cauliflower ears will also turn off a lot of individuals, which might cause some social awkwardness.

Treatment For Wrestlers’ Cauliflower Ear

The success rate for preventing cauliflower ear development depends on how quickly measures are adopted. 

The blood clots or hematomas developed between the skin and cartilage may be removed before irreversible deformity develops.

It’s crucial to give the ear a considerable amount of time to recuperate after draining it, away from practice and competition. It is important to seek quick medical assistance if you suffer ear damage.

The longer athlete delays getting medical help, the less likely it is that draining the ear will subsequently work, and the deformity will eventually become permanent. 

Once the cauliflower ear has completely formed, it cannot be reversed; at that point, only reconstructive surgery will be able to return the ear to its normal look.

The best course of action, then, is to attempt to prevent cauliflower ear in the first place. 

Wearing headgear is your greatest line of protection against getting cauliflower ear, however, there are obviously no guarantees.

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The goal of this post was to explore the medical condition known as cauliflower ear in order to comprehend why wrestlers experience it so often. 

We can more effectively avoid its recurrence if we comprehend the science underlying its occurrence.

We can now state with certainty that wrestlers develop cauliflower ears as a result of the repetitive, forceful hits caused on their ears during practice and competition after looking more closely at the origin of the condition.

Hematomas start to grow when the ear is abused, separating the cartilage from the skin that covers it and restricting blood flow. This ultimately results in the tissues dying and irreparable harm.

If there is one thing you learn from this post, let it be that the greatest approach to protect your ear health, in the long run, is via the prevention, which can be achieved by using the right wrestling equipment, prompt treatment, and safety clothing.

  • January 16, 2023