Cholesteatoma

Also known as: keratoma, chronic ear infection.

What is cholesteatoma?

If an unusual growth of skin is present in the middle ear, right behind the eardrum, this is often known as a cholesteatoma. Over time, it can lead to a number of complications related to hearing, as well as other health issues.
 

What causes cholesteatoma?

A combination of a couple of factors can cause cholesteatoma to occur. The first is an ear infection, and the second is Eustachian tubes that do not work properly to equalize ear pressure. These two factors cause a vacuum to occur in the middle ear, where a growth of tissue occurs.
 

What are the symptoms of cholesteatoma?

Fluid drainage, a foul odor, ear pressure, hearing loss, dizziness, weakness of the facial muscles and other complications can occur over time.
 

What are cholesteatoma care options?

For mild problems related to cholesteatoma, an ear cleaning, antibiotics and ear drops can help with the symptoms. Often surgery is necessary to correct the problems related to cholesteatoma.

Reviewed by: Brian Ho, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:10:27 PM

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Dr. Yamilet Tirado is employed by Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA), the physician-led multispecialty group practice of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. She is a pediatric otolaryngologist/ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist within the Division of Otolaryngology and sees patients at Nicklaus Children's Hospital and the Nicklaus Children's Aventura Care Center.