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Everything you need to know about Cholesteatoma

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Everything you need to know about Cholesteatoma

ENT- Otolaryngology | Posted on 06/09/2022 by Dr. VIJAY KUMAR SHARMA


Do you experience recurrent ear infections or have had a ruptured eardrum? If yes, then it might indicate a condition called cholesteatoma. It is a growth that is noncancerous and abnormal behind the eardrum or from the eardrum. It appears like a cyst containing connective tissues and skin cells. If it is left untreated, then it can lead to constant growth of the masses. Some cholesteatomas can get large as well. There are very rare cases of permanent hearing loss or any other serious problems due to cholesteatomas. 

The condition is found to be more common in individuals who experience regular ear infections and issues linked to the eustachian tube. It is important to diagnose and treat the condition beforehand to prevent hearing loss. Cholesteatomas might require surgery if it is not responding to the treatment as recommended by a doctor. Lifelong monitoring might be required as well because this condition keeps coming back. In this blog, we will include a discussion on cholesteatoma for your improved comprehension. However, kindly note that it is for informational purposes only and doesn’t recommend in any way to overlook the doctor’s consultation. You can book your appointment with one of the best multispeciality hospitals in Jaipur. They have a team of the best ent doctors and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to providing the best treatment. I

What is Cholesteatoma

Cholesteatoma is a condition in which abnormal and noncancerous skin growth usually both develop in the middle section of the ear which is located behind the eardrum. Usually, this type of condition occurs from birth which means one can call it a birth defect but in most cases, it is caused due to consecutive or repeated infections in the middle ear. Usually, it begins as a cyst or a structure that sheds a layer of old skin; it is the dead skin that is accumulated. This type of growth increases in size with time and then destroys the delicate structure of the bones present in the middle year which in turn affects the function of hearing body balance and the function of facial muscles.

What are cholesteatoma symptoms?

The symptoms of cholesteatoma might vary from person to person. Usually, the symptoms are mild in the beginning and difficult to identify but as the cyst grows in size the problem and the symptoms become more prominent. This happens because the growth of the cyst creates pressure in the ear that causes pain and discomfort. The severity of this disease might even cause loss of hearing. Some of the symptoms might include:

  • Vertigo
  • Facial muscle paralysis
  • Partial or permanent hearing loss
  • Itching the ear
  • Buzzing sound in the ear
  • Pain
  • Leakage of fluid( foul smell)
  • Pressure and discomfort
  • Ear infection
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Trouble in hearing
  • The feeling of fullness in one ear
  • Pus
  • The problem with body balance
  • Constant headache
  • Nausea

What are the causes of cholesteatoma?

There can be various reasons for having cholesteatoma, some of these reasons might include:

  • Constant earring section is one of the prime reasons for having this disease.
  • Any type of injury or trauma might also lead to cholesteatoma.
  • Exposure to sudden pressure of water.
  • In many cases, this type of defect is congenital forms during the development of the fetus. Some parts of the lining of the ear swell up inside the bone as it grows.
  • Poor functioning of the eustachian tube might also lead to cholesteatoma which can be caused due to various factors such as cold, allergy, sinus infection, or prolonged ear infection.

What is cholesteatoma treatment?

Generally, the only way to get rid of cholesteatomas is through surgical removal. It becomes necessary to remove the cyst to prevent the complications that occur with its growth. Such kinds of cyst growth do not get cured naturally and they require medications, antibiotics, ear drops, and constant cleaning of the ear to reduce its inflammation and leakage of fluid.

Medications are required to reduce the swelling and stop the leakage and after that surgery is necessary. The doctor removes the cyst with absolute precision while maintaining hygiene so that it does not cause any kind of infection during or after the surgery. In some cases, reconstruction becomes necessary when the damage is severe.


Cholesteatoma is an ear-related condition that is not very common but when occurs, it keeps coming back. People with recurrent ear infections or with ruptured eardrum are more likely to experience the condition. If you suspect that you might have this condition, then it is recommended to an ENT specialist on time so that any complications can be prevented beforehand. You don’t have to feel apprehensive when diagnosed with this problem as it can be managed easily. However, it is important to understand that there might be chances of surgical procedures if other treatment options are not working. You might have to prioritize lifelong management for this condition. 

Rukmani Birla Hospital is one of the best multi-specialty hospitals that provide the best ent treatment in Jaipur. We have a team of the best ENT doctors and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to providing the best treatment. If you have any queries regarding ENT, contact RBH for expert assistance and care



Can cholesteatoma be cured?

Yes, cholesteatoma can be cured with a surgical procedure that involves regular cleanings and antibiotics.

How fast does cholesteatoma grow?

Cholesteatoma takes time to grow but once it does and is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.

Can cholesteatoma come back after surgery?

Yes, cholesteatoma condition can come back even after surgery, hence lifelong management is required for this condition.