What causes cholesteatomas?

Acholesteatoma can develop if part of the eardrum collapses because of problems equalising the pressure across it.

This occurs when the Eustachian tube is not working properly.This is a thin tube that runs from the middle ear to the back of the nose. One of its main functionsis to help maintain normal air pressure within the ear.

Dead skin cells arenormally passed out of the ear, butif the eardrum collapses, itmay create a pocket wherethe dead skin cells can collect.

Acholesteatoma can also occur after the eardrum has been damaged through an injury orinfection, or after any kind of ear surgery.

It is possible to be born with a cholesteatoma as a result ofthe structures within the ear developing abnormally,but this is rare.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018