Rugby may not damage your hearing (usually), but it frequently damages ears. Particularly if you are in the scrum.

As a schoolboy frontrower, we were all well versed in the pride of manly afflictions like scrum pox, black eyes, bust collar bones and the like. However, cauliflower ears never really got a look in – mainly because we’d seen the mess our coach’s lugs were in.

Make no mistake: cauliflower ears sounds funny but it isn’t. Not even Beano funny. Basically, anybleeding into the ear from a big knock can separate flesh from cartilage, making it swell up and fill with blood. If you are not careful, scar tissue then builds up (possibly in just a few hours), twists the ear, and you end up with the characteristic front row look.

Cauliflower ears are not funny. Image link from

So it was interesting to find out that there is an effective treatment, courtesy of wonder product, Otoform Ak, and the audiology team in Bath . Working with colleagues (and they have to do it as soon as possible after the game), they drain the fluid from the ear and bind it up tight against a packing mould around the ear made of Otoform.

Otoform is perfect because it is specially designed for ears, and is just the right consistency to mould around and behind the ear. And as a firm, but giving material, you can apply enough pressure to the ear to address the swelling & connectivity without causing discomfort, bringing it back to shape.

Et voila – possibly thousands saved in reconstructive surgery when your rugby days are over!

With thanks to Kim for the explanation at the BAA conference and apologies for any errors, which are my own.

Contact us here for more information on Otoform or how to contact the guys who explained this all to me.



Kim Robinson, audiologist in Bath

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