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Is an ear injury serious?

Sometimes ear injuries can be serious. Untreated external ear injuries can lead to deformity. When the fleshy part of the ear receives a blow that causes swelling and hematoma (swelling with an excessive amount of blood), and the hematoma is not drained, then oxygen and blood flow can be cut off from the ear cartilage and lead to a permanently damaged ear. This is known as cauliflower ear and is common among boxers, wrestlers, rugby players, and others who experience frequent blows to the ears.

Ruptured eardrums cause pain and may require medical treatment. Most of the time, eardrums repair on their own. If the rupture does not heal, a paper patch may be placed over the rupture to stimulate growth over the ruptured part of the eardrum. If the patch does not work, surgery may be needed to repair the rupture.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.