Cholesteatoma is a disorder that is a more severe form of chronic middle ear infection. It is actually a growth that is created in the middle ear after frequent, untreated infections. While it grows, it can be infected, damaging the eardrum, creating a pus, and damaging the tiny bones in the middle ear. Symptoms of cholesteatoma include hearing loss, ear pain, and the pus that is excreted from the ear. Headaches, weakness of facial muscles and dizziness may also occur.
Cholesteatoma is not so common. It only affects people who did not seek help to cure the long lasting ear inflammation. If cholesteatoma is not treated, it may cause epidural abscess or meningitis.
What to do?
If you have any of the symptoms described, and especially is you had nd treated problems with ears in your childhood, go to your doctor. If your doctor suspects that you have cholesteatoma, you will need to go to a hearing specialist and audiometry to check how well your hearing is. An X-rays of mastoid is also necessary to see if the infection has spread. Your doctor will choose a solution that depends on the degree of weight of cholesteatoma removal. If cholesteatoma is small, a surgeon may be able to remove it and clean the middle ear cavity with a smaller operation under the local anesthesia. If the damage in the middle ear is big, the cavity needs to be open and cleaned. The hole is opened, behind the visible part of the ear in the middle ear cavity, to allow the discharge of the pus. At the next surgery, the bones in the middle ear are restored or replaced by metal or plastic replacements, and the eardrum is sanitized. In most people, hearing is significantly improved after the surgery that requires a hospital stay (about two weeks).
Infection reoccurs in 20% of people. It is not dangerous if a patient starts with the treatment immediately; if you had cholesteatoma, your doctor will look at your ears at least once a year to determine the signs of infection. If your hearing is permanently damaged by this illness, the hearing aid can help you.