Why Do Wrestlers Wear Headgear? 


Why do wrestlers wear headgear?

Wrestlers wear headgear to prevent cauliflower ear. Cauliflower ear is developed from blunt force trauma to one or both ears. This condition is very common in wrestling, which is why many wrestlers choose to wear protective head gear.

Of course, even with headgear, there is still a chance of developing cauliflower ear. That said, it is unlikely, and wearing headgear is the best way to prevent it.

Even if a wrestler gets a little bit of puffiness while wearing headgear they are still preventing most of the damage.

Some pretty serious health conditions can be caused by cauliflower ear. Which is the reason wrestlers wear head gear.

What Is Cauliflower Ear And Why Is It Common In Wrestling?

Though by its name cauliflower ear might seem harmless, but in reality, it can be a painful condition that can have long-term health consequences. Cauliflower ear usually develops after repeated blunt force trauma to the ear. That said, it can happen after just one incident if the trauma to your ear is substantial enough.

The name itself gives away the physical appearance of this condition. When blood begins to clot between the cartilage and the skin it forms into lumps. The lumps in actuality are hematomas and often resemble cauliflower when developed on the ears. 

If you decide that you are going to begin wrestling, but you want to avoid this condition, then the best thing you can do is invest in proper headgear. There are plenty of reasons you are probably going to want to do that.

Main Reasons Wrestlers Wear Headgear

Hear Gear is your first line of defense to protect yourself from the negative consequences of cauliflower ear. Doing so will help you to prevent some of these common issues associated with cauliflower ear.

Avoid Permanent Damage And Surgery

If you do get cauliflower ear and do not treat it immediately, then it can to dead cartilage. There is usually only a window of time you will have after your ears begin to fill up with fluid before blood flow is cut off from the ear.

This in return leads to the inability of fluids such as blood flow to get in and out of the ear. This, in turn, leads to dead cartilage and is usually permanent.

At this point, your only option to potentially heal the dead cartilage is with surgery. The surgery is typically pretty abrasive and can take up to 6 months to heal. Not to mention the fact that it will probably not be too cheap either. All of this can likely be avoided simply by wearing headgear when wrestling.

Hearing Problems And Potentially Even Hearing Loss

Cauliflower ear can lead to problems with hearing. Some wrestlers have even attributed cauliflower ear to their loss of hearing. This can potentially also lead to problems such as ringing in the ears. If your ears get swollen to the point where it is blocking your hearing pathways you can have some serious issues.

Not to mention the fact that you would not be able to wear headphones or easily clean out your ears with a cotton swab. It can also simply cause pain in your ears. Luckily I have not had much permanent damage done to my ears.

That said, I have had some nights where I had trouble sleeping because my ears were throbbing with pain.

Unwanted Appearance Of Cauliflower Ear

Though I am not saying it is fair or justified, cauliflower ear has been known to lead to certain prejudices. People with this condition have stated that they feel it has negatively impacted their lives when it comes to things such as getting hired or their dating life.

So like it or not cauliflower ear might even have an impact or your personal and professional life. You can be the nicest guy in the world, but unfortunately, people still might judge you.

Best Wrestling Headgear

My number one pick when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck is the Cliff Keen Fusion headgear. It is not the cheapest option but it is high quality and will last you a long time.

In addition, Cliff Keen Fusion comes in a variety of color options, which is especially great if your team competes in a specific color. This headgear is also pretty comfortable when it comes to wrestling headgear. In addition, it is much easier to put on and adjust than many of the older models were. Last but not least this headgear fits well and offers top-of-the-line protection.

Cliff Keen also offers a great product called the  F5 Tornado Headgear. This is another great option and might even be better suited for some athletes. It is great if you are looking for lightweight headgear that still offers great protection.

In Conclusion

The reason wrestlers wear headgear is to prevent damage to their ears. Damage to the ears can lead to cauliflower ear. Which of course, can come along with health issues and unwanted appearance.

Preventing this cauliflower ear is the main reason wrestlers wear headgear and why you should as well. For more on what kind of gear you need for wrestling check out my article: What kind of gear do you need for wrestling here! 

Joshua Paul

Joshua Paul is a BJJ purple belt who lives in Austin, Texas. Joshua loves all forms of grappling and when he is off the mats he is likely spending time with his wife and son.

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