Best Ear and Head Protection for Wrestling
How Can Wrestling Affect Your Ears
The constant bashing and beating of a Wrestlers Ear can cause longterm disfigurement of the ear.
A common sight in Wrestling is what is known as Cauliflower ear, this is a deformity of the outer ear that has developed over time. It will appear swollen and inflammed. When the cartilage of the ear is injured by trauma to the ear, the blood supply from the skin is disrupted often causing a hematoma, a pocket of blood, as the injury heals the skin folds in on itself becoming more pale and giving a cauliflower appearance hence then name.
Ear Drum Rupture
The force of a hard knock to the ear has the potentail to cause a rupture to the ear drum, resulting in pain, pontential infection, tinnitus and hearing loss.
Tips for Wrestlers To Protect Their Ears
- The best way to protect your ears is by using head gear also called ear guards or ear protectors in wrestling
- Make sure the ear guard you use is correctly fitted, if too loose or too tight this could also cause injury to your ears.
- Seek a Doctors opinion if a Cauliflower ear has developed no matter how superficial it looks
- Trauma to the ear via sport is becoming more and more common be aware of the risks and prevention methods and help share prevention methods with other players
Using headgear can protect the ears of a wrestler. Constant bashing and beating onto a wrestlers ears can cause blood vessels in the outer ear to burst and cause cauliflower ear. Headgear is required to be worn in a United States high school and college wrestling. In Canada and international wrestling matches headgear is recommended but not compulsory. Wrestling isn't as big in the UK but is still done.
When choosing headgear or earguards it is important to consider certain factors. How lightweight is your headgear, if it is not lightweight it will be uncomfortable to wear and will also put pressure on your neck and shoulders. It needs to fit securely and feel comfortable, what you don't want is for the headgear to slip off during a wrestling match. Earguards with good ventillation and audibility will help with awareness as well as keeping your protective equipment free of moisture, condensation and perspiration. It is important that the earguards are strong, robust and durable and if possible the more streamlined the better, if your ear guards are too much of an extra feature they have the potential to provide an advantage to your opponent by grabbing them to get you into a head lock.
The Fumetsu Grappling Earguards are lightweight, tough and fairly straight forward to put on and take off.
Provides hard plastic protection around your ears and a soft stretchy lycra over the top of them.There are three large vent holes in the ear protection to help keep them ventilated. To adjust the size to fit your head you will need to tighten the velcro strap to the back and the velcro to the chin strap. Be careful to test out the strength of the chin strap, becuase this appears to be quite a weak point at where the strap connects to the ear protection.
In terms of cleaning it you are better wiping and hand washing, putting in the washing machine will reduce the amount the velcro sticks.
The Tornado headgear uses technology used in NASA research. It has a lightweight design that also promotes audibility that is sometimes lost while wearing earguards.
It uses a PowerTab strapping system that secures the headgear to near your forehead, the top of your head and at the back of your head using velcro straps. These straps are flexible and help to keep the headgear on however there is still some movement with it on and it doesn't provide the snuggiest of fits because it is only connected at these points and not fully around your head.
The chin strap is quite short and doesn't come with a form of adjustment. It is also important to make sure this headguard fits you prior to purchasing as it only comes in the one size for adults, there is a youth option for younger wrestlers.
The ear cups themselves are very protective of the ears, even making them a little bulky in size. This sometimes putting you at a disadvantage as your opponent may be able to get you into a head lock much easier. There is a great deal of ventillation in the ear pieces using a particular designed 'Air Vent System' to maximise air flow and reduce moisture and sweat build up.
The Addidas Response Earguards are Internal plastic ear cups and soft foam covering effectively absorbs shock. It uses a soft chin strap which is very comfortable and 4 strap design for personalisation around the head.
To fasten to your head you will need to get your finger into pull out the tabs of the strap. Then to tighten you will need to pull the end of the tab while pressing the main strap gently down then once in the right place tuck the end tabs back in. When it feels secure enough for your head, put your earguards on attach your chin guard.
There is only a small amount of ventillation to the ear guards, however they have quite a low profile meaning that they do not stick out a great deal and reduce the ability for them to be used to start a head lock move.