A cholesteatoma is a benign, non-cancerous growth that can form in the middle ear. It is made up of skin cells and cholesterol crystals. The growth can become infected and cause other problems in the middle ear, such as hearing loss, ear pain, and dizziness.
What is the main cause of cholesteatoma?
The main cause of cholesteatoma is a blockage in the eustachian tube. The eustachian tube is a small tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. It helps to equalize pressure in the middle ear and drain fluid. If the eustachian tube is blocked, fluid can build up in the middle ear, which can create a pocket where skin cells can grow.
Is a cholesteatoma serious?
Yes, a cholesteatoma can be serious if it is not treated. The growth can erode the bones in the middle ear and damage the hearing bones. It can also spread to the inner ear and cause hearing loss, dizziness, and other problems.
What are the early signs of cholesteatoma?
The early signs of cholesteatoma may include:
- Hearing loss
- Ear pain
- Ear drainage
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Pressure in the ear
- Frequent ear infections
What are the cures for cholesteatoma?
The only cure for cholesteatoma is surgery. Surgery to remove a cholesteatoma is usually performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision in the eardrum and remove the growth. In some cases, the surgeon may also need to remove bone from the middle ear.
After surgery, you will need to wear a hearing aid or ear implant if you have hearing loss. You will also need to take antibiotics to prevent infection.