A cholesteatoma is an abnormal skin growth within the middle ear system behind the eardrum. As the growth increases in size, it gradually destroys the middle ear bones, causing hearing loss. This condition, which can exist at birth or develop later in life, is caused by a poorly functioning Eustachian tube that creates a partial vacuum in the middle ear. Symptoms of cholesteatoma include drainage from the ear, a feeling of fullness, hearing loss, earache, and dizziness.
Depending on the size of the cholesteatoma, treatment may include antibiotics, ear drops, or surgery for removal. These growths will continue growing without treatment, so treating them as soon as possible is vital for your overall health.