- First Aid Essentials Slideshow
- Take the Trauma and First Aid Quiz
- First Aid Sprains & Strains Slideshow Pictures
- Patient Comments: Cauliflower Ear - Cause
What are the symptoms of cauliflower ear?
Because cauliflower ear is usually due to trauma, the symptoms depend on the severity of the trauma to the ear.
Common symptoms of acute cauliflower ear
- Deformity of the curvature of the ear
Severe symptoms of cauliflower ear
- Loss of hearing
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Blurred vision
- Facial swelling
- Severe bleeding
If the damage from the trauma is severe and medical attention should be sought immediately. Once scarring and deformity of the cartilage occurs, there may be no symptoms.
What is the treatment for cauliflower ear?
The goals of treatment are to prevent permanent damage to the cartilage by draining blood from the hematoma, treating any infection, and reducing inflammation in order to re-establish the connection of the skin to the underlying cartilage. Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection.
Patients may be referred to an ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) or plastic surgeon to treat this deformity and assure proper healing.
Cauliflower ear repair consists of draining accumulated blood (the hematoma) through an incision in the ear and applying a compressive dressing to sandwich the two sides of the skin against the cartilage.
What is the prognosis for cauliflower ear?
When treated aggressively and promptly, cauliflower ear deformity is unlikely. Any delay in diagnosis leads to more difficulty in managing the problem, increased chances for insufficient blood supply to the ear cartilage, and escalated risk of deformity.