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by Kohnle D


Cholesteatoma is a serious medical problem. Early treatment is vital for the best outcome. Serious complications may occur if the tumor goes untreated, including hearing loss , muscle weakness, and a sensation of spinning known as vertigo . If the infection spreads to the brain it can lead to meningitis and brain abscess.
Cholesteatoma responds well to surgical treatment. Patients are likely to recover fully without complications if the tumor is caught and treated early with surgery.


Surgery prevents complications such as hearing loss and balance problems. Thorough cleaning of the ear is necessary to remove fluid and bacteria. It is done with a scalpel or a needle and a syringe. Eardrops are also usually given to prevent the infection from returning.


Medications are necessary to dry the fluid in the ear if allergies or other causes are producing excess fluid.


Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians

Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics



About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children

Health Canada



Cholesteatoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated June 27, 2013. Accessed September 11, 2014.

Cholesteatoma. ENT Health Information: Ears. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: Updated March 2011. Accessed September 11, 2014.

Levenson M. Cholesteatoma. Ear Surgery Information Center website. Available at: Accessed September 11, 2014.

4/29/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Angtuaco EJ, Wippold FJ. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for hearing loss and/or vertigo. Available at: Updated 2013. Accessed September 11, 2014.


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