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What is Cholesteatoma?
A Cholesteatoma is disease of the ear, which develops when trapped skin forms a slowly expanding mass in the middle ear space and mastoid bone. This mass will typically grow very slowly, and may cause hearing loss, dizziness, and a discharging ear. The condition can cause facial weakness, and there is a small risk of infection spreading more widely.
What is the cause of Cholesteatoma?
Cholesteatoma usually develops from a pocket which forms in the eardrum as a result of poor eustachian tube function, but can result from trauma to the ear, or be congenital (i.e. something present since birth, but which may present many years later after slowly progressing).
How is Cholesteatoma diagnosed?
Cholesteatoma is diagnosed by careful examination under the microscope by an otologist. A CT and/or MRI scan may be arranged to examine the size and position of the disease.
What treatment is available?
Surgery is generally required in order to remove the disease and the risk associated with it. Sometimes this can be performed through the ear canal, although it may be necessary to make a cut in order to expose the disease fully. Found out more about this type of surgery here.
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