A cholesteatoma (say "kuh-LESS-tee-uh-TOH-muh") is a growth (cyst) inside your ear. The most common cause is repeated ear infections. Once the growth starts, ear infections make it grow larger. You may feel pain and pressure in or near your ear. You also may have bad-smelling fluid that drains from your ear. You may lose hearing in that ear. Hearing may come back after the growth is removed.
Your doctor may do tests to find out the size and shape of the growth. He or she may clean your ear and prescribe antibiotics to stop the infection. In most cases, people have surgery to remove the growth. After surgery, you will need follow-up care to be sure the growth and infection are gone.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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