Mom always told you to eat your veggies. But while cauliflower ear  may look a little like that little white tree kids leave untouched on their plates, it is actually indicative of a potentially serious medical condition.

So called cauliflower ear is caused by one or repeated hits to the ear, such as often occurs in a boxing match. The ear bubbles up and appears lumpy, like the top of a cauliflower. What’s really going on is trauma causes small amounts of blood to clot and block the flow of blood. If blood flow is severely blocked to the ear cartilage, it may die and fold over. Left untreated, these ear deformities can become permanent.

While cauliflower ear is most often caused by sports-related injuries like those often incurred while playing rugby, wrestling, and martial arts, it can also be the result of an accident or upper-ear piercing.

The good news is, cauliflower ear is nearly always preventable. Wearing properly-fitting protective head gear while participating in sports goes a long way in preventing ear damage. Even if you experience what seems like superficial ear trauma, it’s best to see your ear specialist at OrlandoENT. He or she can ensure you don’t have lasting damage.

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