What is Cholesteatoma : causes, symptoms, complications

What is CholesteatomaWhat is Cholesteatoma

What is Cholesteatoma

Cholesteatoma is an abnormal and noncancerous growth of the skin. It can develop into the middle of the ear behind the eardrum. It can create birth defects and is thereby common as a middle ear infection. A cholesteatoma is often developed as a cyst or a sac.

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What causes cholesteatoma?

During the medical condition, the old layer of the skin starts shedding. As the dead skin cells accumulate, the growth of the skin can increase and destroy the delicate bones of the ear. This further affects the hearing, balance, and facial muscles.

Besides repeated ear infections, the cholesteatoma can also be the cause of poor functioning of the eustachian tube. It is the kind of tube that leads from the back of the nose to the middle ear. This tube allows the air to pass through and equalize the air pressure. There can be chances that it may not work because of the following reasons:

  • chronic ear infections
  • sinus infections
  • colds
  • allergies

If your eustachian tube is not working properly, the conditions may develop a partial vacuum in your middle ear. This may cause the eardrum to pull into the middle ear. It thereby leads to the formation of a cyst that can turn into a cholesteatoma. When the growth becomes larger, it starts filling the old skin, fluids, and other waste material.

Cholesteatoma in children

Cholesteatoma is a very rare condition that affects children. This is considered to be a birth defect. Congenital cholesteatoma can occur in the middle of the ear. In the case of children, it may acquire the ear becoming the cause of ear infection. It is, however, possible that cholesteatoma develops at a young age.

What are the symptoms of cholesteatoma?

The symptoms of cholesteatoma typically start mild. They become severe as soon as the cyst grows and becomes larger. It thereby starts creating problems in the ear.

Initially, the affected ear may drain out the foul-smelling fluid. As soon as the cyst starts growing, it may create a sense of pressure in the ear. It thereby causes discomfort and makes you feel the ache inside or behind the ear. Also, the pressure of the growing cyst can cause hearing loss.

Call your doctor if you have these symptoms. Ear infection can take place with the accompanying hearing loss and facial muscle paralysis. Cholesteatoma is the type of condition that causes the growth of the cyst. It may grow abnormally and can cause a change in the skin.

What are the potential complications of a cholesteatoma?

When left untreated, the cholesteatoma can grow abnormally. It can create complications and may range from mild to severe changes. The dead skin of the ear starts providing an environment for the breeding of bacteria and fungus. This means the cyst can become infected and may cause inflammation in case of ear drainage.

Over time, a cholesteatoma may also affect the surrounding of the ear and the skin or even bone. It can damage the eardrums, the bones inside the ear, bones near the brain, and the nerves of the face. It may also create the feeling of hearing loss which can later become permanent if not treated timely. The bones of the ear can also break with time.

In such a condition, the cyst may transfer to the face and if the growth continues, it may lead to weakness of facial muscles.

Other potential complications include:

  • chronic infection of the ear
  • swelling of the ear
  • paralysis of the facial muscles
  • Meningitis- a kind of brain infection
  • brain abscesses, or collections of pus in the brain

Pediatrician In India

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