Cholesteatoma

Cholesteatoma

Cholesteatomas may be congenital (you may be born with it) or acquired (may develop later in life). Cholesteatomas are essentially cysts formed form the tympanic membrane (ear drum). A pocket is formed in the ear drum which traps the lining of the drum, allowing for continued growth and expansion of the cholesteatoma with time. Although they are benign and are not tumors, they may act like tumors in that their growth may cause destruction of the bone in and around the ear, potentially resulting in hearing loss, dizziness, facial paralysis, destruction of the bone around the brain, and chronic infection. Treatment may be medical to clear secondary infection or inflammation (may be treated with antibiotic ear drops or oral antibiotics), or surgical - the only definitive cure for cholesteatomas. The entire cholesteatoma is removed in the middle ear and mastoid (bone behind the ear), along with the affected ear drum and bone.

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