When people debate rugby, they frequently wind up talking about the “cauliflower ears” that many seasoned players mention. But what exactly is a “cauliflower ear,” why usually have cauliflower ears from rugby more likely to develop them than non-players, and is there anything that can be done to prevent them? Listed below is a quick guide to cauliflower ears from rugby.
What is cauliflower ears from rugby?
A malformation of the ear that can be brought on by damage or illness to the external section of the ear is known colloquially as the “cauliflower ear.” Repeated physical trauma injuries to the ear can cause the exterior part of the ear to become lumpy and bloated, giving some individuals the impression that the ear looks like a cauliflower. The disfigured appearance is typically the main adverse effect of the illness, though occasionally more serious issues may arise.
Contact a healthcare provider if you believe that your cauliflower ear is causing other health issues.
The causes of cauliflower ears from rugby
Rugby players frequently develop cauliflower ears as a result of the sport’s intense intensity. A knock to the ear, which may happen easily in a scrumming situation, can cause internal bleeding and result in blood clots developing in the outer portion of the ear. The same effect may be had by pulling and bending injuries, which can also happen during game play.
These tiny clots may occasionally prevent fresh blood from reaching the damaged area of the ear, depriving it of essential nutrients. Any area of the body can die if blood flow is blocked, which is damaging and perhaps fatal. Damaged cartilage and surrounding tissue may degenerate in the event of blood clots in the ear. As a result, the ear may start to shrink and develop folds in certain locations. In some cases, the damaged area will develop scar tissue, which might be tougher and appear more bloated than the surrounding tissue. This contributes to the ear’s lumpy, bulging appearance.
Risks for cauliflower ears from rugby
The majority of cases of cauliflower ear are seen in athletes who compete in sports involving close contact, such rugby. For instance, during matches, opponents’ heads may bump into one another or strike one another, or they may come into contact with the yard. Rugby players are both prone to cauliflower ears. The risk is larger for those who engage in these activities. In these sports, protective headgear has long been the norm.
Cauliflower ear symptoms
The earliest signs of the injuries that cause cauliflower ear are comparable to those that could result from physical trauma to other parts of the body. You might be swollen, and the area might be bruised or red. It’s crucial to not dismiss these symptoms if you have suffered a blow to the ear or several blows. Early intervention can stop the growth of cauliflower ear. However, it must be done before a shortage of blood supply puts the tissue at risk.
Cure for Cauliflower Ear
There is still a chance you won’t get cauliflower ears from rugby even if you sustain an accident that obstructs the tissues in your ear. The purpose of treatment is to remove the obstruction so that blood can flow to the injured tissues once more.
A doctor can remedy this by creating a small incision, draining the blood that has accumulated, or by removing a clot and stopping additional bleeding. They might also need to apply a specific bandage to apply pressure to the area while stitching together the tissues. For a few days to a week, this pressure dressing may need to be left in place. It will be necessary to monitor the signs for infections or indications that more medical attention may be required. Additionally, your doctor might advise antibiotics.
How to avoid cauliflower ears from rugby
Players who are attempting to avoid cauliflower ears have two options: either treat the damage to lessen the probability of tissue death, or prevent the initial injury.
Rugby players are being advised to wear protective hats, or “scrum caps,” because they are most at risk for ear injuries. The player can prevent bending or tear damage thanks to these caps. To decrease the severity of blunt trauma injuries like knocks or knees to the ear, they also have a thin layer of foam covering the ears. These caps should be snug enough to prevent slipping or falling off while playing, but also free enough to prevent putting too much pressure on the ear. A scrum cap that is too tight might irritate the ear and even promote the development of cauliflower ears.
Cauliflower ear is a common ailment among rugby players, especially those who play in the forward position. The abuse rugby will heap on your ears is beyond what they are capable of withstanding. Since cauliflower ear can happen at any time, you never know when you could experience your first case. Thankfully, wearing a scrum hat and taping your ears will prevent cauliflower ear. Don’t worry if you do develop cauliflower ear; with proper care, it will recover. Although the damage won’t be completely repaired, it won’t be very obvious.