In spite of the fact that the appearance and growth pattern it resembles a tumor, ear cholesteatoma is not a genuine tumor. Cholesteatoma symptoms include pain, feeling of fullness in the ear and hearing difficulties. Cholesteatoma treatment depends on location and size of the growth. Below we will discuss the cholesteatoma treatment options and diagnostic services in more detail.

Such kind of tumors can be described as an abnormal skin growth which occurs behind the eardrum in the middle ear. This can come about as a recurrence of an ear infection or as an inward pulling of the eardrum allowing skin into the middle ear.


This growth starts off as a cyst or pouch that sheds off layers of old skin accumulating inside the middle ear. As time goes on, the size of cholesteatoma increases thereby resulting to the destruction of the delicate bones within the middle ear leading to the loss of hearing. This condition can be improved if surgery is employed.
cholesteatoma; Cholesteatoma symptoms; Cholesteatoma treatment


Permanent hearing loss, dizziness and facial muscle paralysis may occur in a person, however, rare they may be as a result of the continuous growth of cholesteatoma. Development of this tumor may occur due to a birth defect though the most common is a result of complications from chronic ear infection.


The common symptoms of such a tumor growing inside of an ear canal, are:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of hearing in an ear
  • Drainage from the ear



Once a person is diagnosed with cholesteatoma, a course of medication varying from antibiotics, ear drops and careful cleaning of the ear are likely to be prescribed by the doctor to reduce inflammation and drain the ear of any fluid build-up. Surgical removal is brought up when the better examination of the cyst is possible.


Generally, there is one way to ensure complete cure from this tumor and that is through surgery. In preventing further complications, cholesteatomas must be removed as they have the tendency to grow larger leading to additional problems.

The surgery procedure which is often performed under general anesthesia is an outpatient procedure which does not require a lengthy hospital stay once it is done, a hospital stay is only required if the infection is a serious one or the cyst is very large. Once the surgery is completed, reconstructive surgery is carried out to repair any damage that may have occurred in the inner ear and to also ensure complete removal of the cyst.

After surgery, regular attendance and follow-up appointments are recommended to ensure that there is no reappearance of the cyst. Temporary dizziness or taste abnormalities are normal after surgery but they do not last.


  • Physical Examination: First of all, in diagnosing this condition, doctor examines the inside of the ear with an otoscope to determine if there are any signs of a growing cyst. Mass of blood vessels and skin cells in the ear are what will be looked for.
  • CT scan: CT scans are ordered if the doctor is not able to detect obvious signs of cholesteatoma or if associated symptoms such as dizziness and facial muscle weakness are experienced. CT scan is a painless imaging test which captures images from a body’s cross section allowing the doctor to see inside the ear and the skull thereby helping to visualize the cyst and or rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.