What is it?

Cholesteatoma is an abnormal growth of skin in the middle ear behind the eardrum. It can be present from birth, but it more commonly occurs as a complication of chronic, meaning long standing, ear infections.
A cholesteatoma can grow over time and cause a damage to the structure of your middle ear leading to pain and hearing loss.
Cholesteatoma is usually formed in people with recurrent ear infections and poor function of the eustachian tube, which is the tube that drains the secretions of the ears into your nose.

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Signs & symptoms

At start, the symptoms of cholesteatoma are quite mild, including recurrent discharge of fluid from your ear, sometimes with a foul odor.
As it progresses, cholesteatoma may cause pain and pressure in your ear, dizziness and hearing loss.


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and look inside your ear with an otoscope.
A CT scan may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis, and to check for possible damage to your inner ear.


Initial treatment may involve careful cleaning of the ear, antibiotics, and eardrops. Therapy aims to stop the drainage in your ear by controlling the infection.
Large or more complicated cholesteatomas may require surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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