What is Cholesteatoma caused by chronic ear infections, colds, sinus infections and allergies? Cholesteatoma symptoms and treatment.
WHAT IS CHOLESTEATOM?
Cholesteatoma is an abnormal, non-cancerous skin growth in the middle ear that can develop behind the eardrum. It may be a birth defect, but is often caused by recurring middle ear infections.
CAUSES OF CHOLESTEATOM
Aside from repeated infections, a cholesteatoma can also be caused by the eustachian tube, a tube that runs from the back of the nose to the middle of the ear.
The eustachian tube allows air to flow through the ear and equalize ear pressure. The eustachian tube may not work properly for any of the following reasons:
– Chronic ear infections
– Sinus infections
– Common cold
If your eustachian tube isn’t working properly, a partial vacuum can occur in your middle ear. This can cause part of your eardrum to retract into the middle ear, forming a cyst that can turn into a cholesteatoma. The growth then grows larger when it fills up with old skin cells, fluids, and other waste materials.
SYMPTOMS OF CHOLESTEATOM
Contact with a cholesteatoma typically starts out mild. As the cyst grows, they become more severe and cause problems in the ear.
Initially, a foul-smelling fluid comes from the affected ear. As the cyst grows, it will begin to create a feeling of pressure in the ear that can cause discomfort. You may also feel pain in or behind the ear. The pressure of the growing cyst can even cause hearing loss in the affected ear.
Call your doctor right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Permanent hearing loss may occur if vertigo, facial muscle paralysis, and the cyst continue to grow uncontrolled.
POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS OF CHOLESTEATOM
Because cholesteatoma damages the surrounding tissues and makes the middle ear susceptible to infection, the following complications may occur in chronic otitis media with cholesteatoma:
– Permanent hearing loss
– Inner ear inflammation
– Facial paralysis
– Brain tissue inflammation
– Ear pain
– Neck vein inflammation
In general, the only way to treat a cholesteatoma is surgical removal. The cyst should be removed to prevent complications that may arise. Cholesteatomas do not disappear naturally. In particular, they continue to grow and cause additional problems.
Once a cholesteatoma is diagnosed, careful hygiene of the ear, ear drops and antibiotics is recommended to treat the infected cyst, reduce inflammation, and drain the ear. Your medical professional will then be able to better analyze the growth characteristics of the cyst and make a plan for surgical removal.
In most cases, surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means that you do not have to stay in the hospital after the procedure. A hospital stay is only necessary if the cyst is very large or you have a serious infection. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. After the first operation to remove the cyst, it is necessary to follow up the surgery in order to repair the damaged parts of the inner ear and to make sure that the cyst is completely removed.
After the cholesteatoma is removed, follow-up is very important to evaluate the results and to make sure that the cyst does not occur again. If the cyst has damaged any bone in your ear, a second surgery is required to repair it.
After surgery, some people experience temporary dizziness or taste abnormalities. These side effects almost always go away on their own within a few days.