What is Cholesteatoma

  • Cholesteatoma is an abnormal non-cancerous skin growth or skin cyst that develops behind the eardrum, in the middle section of the year.
  • Recurring middle ear infections causes the dead skin to accumulate and damage the sensitive bones behind the ear.

Who are at risk of cholesteatoma?

  • Men are more prone to cholesteatoma compared to women.
  • Children with undiagnosed cholesteatoma are at risk of hearing loss by early adulthood. Late childhood or early adolescence is the appropriate time for surgery.
  • People with recurrent ear infections causing fluid discharge are at risk of developing cholesteatoma.


  • Foul-smelling fluid from the infected ear
  • Enlarging cyst creates a sense of pressure causing discomfort
  • Severe pain and swelling in the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo, facial muscle paralysis occurs as the cyst grows unchecked
  • Recurring ear infections