What is it?
A cholesteatoma is an uncommon abnormal collection of skin cells inside your ear.
Left untreated, it can continue to grow and damage the delicate structures deep inside your ear, such as the tiny bones and organs essential for hearing and balance.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms associated with a cholesteatoma typically start out mild. They become more severe as the cyst grows larger and begin to cause problems within your ear.
Initially, the affected ear may drain a foul-smelling fluid. As the cyst grows, it will begin to create a sense of pressure in your ear, which may cause some discomfort. You might also feel an aching pain in or behind your ear. The pressure of the growing cyst may even cause hearing loss in the affected ear.
Call your doctor right away if youre having any of these symptoms. Vertigo, facial muscle paralysis, and permanent hearing loss can occur if the cyst continues to grow unchecked.
- Keep your ear dry. Place a waterproof silicone earplug or cotton ball coated with petroleum jelly in your ear when showering or bathing.
- Refrain from cleaning your ears. Give your eardrum time to heal completely.
- Avoid blowing your nose. The pressure created when blowing your nose can damage your healing eardrum.
Things to watch out for
GP should be contacted if you have problems with your hearing or persistent discharge from your ear. A course of antibiotics prescribed by your GP can improve the condition.