Cholesteatoma is an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear 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.
Eardrum perforation occurs when there is a hole or rupture in the eardrum. Medically, this is referred to as a tympanic membrane rupture. Eardrum perforation can lead to a middle ear infection (otitis media) and possible hearing loss. Often, perforation can heal on its own without medical treatment.
The eardrum can rupture for a number of reasons, including ear infection, injury, and poor Eustachian tube function. Depending on the size and location of the rupture, you may experience no symptoms, minor discomfort, or substantial pain. Common signs of an eardrum rupture include fluid drainage, tinnitus, hearing loss, infection, dizziness, and facial muscle weakness.
Depending on the symptoms and degree of perforation, you may need surgery. In most cases, though, your doctor will recommend allowing the tear to heal on its own. You may be prescribed antibiotics and drops for pain.