Cholesteatoma is an abnormal growth of tissue behind the eardrum in the middle ear. It can be caused by poor Eustachian tube function from infections or allergies or it can be congenital. The extra tissue can shed skin and cause a build-up inside the ear which causes extra drainage and a feeling of pressure. Other symptoms include dizziness, facial weakness, and drainage with a foul odor. Cholesteatoma is a serious condition but is treatable. Seek medical attention right away if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Dr. Tirino will want to give you a full ear examination and may order an x-ray or CT scan of the mastoid area. Initially, a careful cleaning of the ear will be conducted and ear drops and antibiotics will be administered. Your physician will evaluate you to see how extensive the damage might be. Occasionally, surgery is required to remove the growth and to address the infection. Long-term follow-up will be crucial to ensure this disorder has been fully addressed.