Acholesteatoma is an uncommon abnormal collection of skin cellsinside your ear.

Left untreated,it can continue to grow and damage the delicate structures deep inside your ear, such as the tiny bones andorgans essential for hearing and balance.

A cholesteatoma can lead to:

  • an Otitis media ,causing discharge from the ear
  • hearing loss , which can be permanent
  • vertigo (the sensation that you, or the world around you, is spinning)
  • tinnitus (hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source)
  • damage to your facial nerve,causing weakness in half your face

In very rare cases, an infection canspread into the inner ear and brain, leading to a brain abscess or meningitis .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 22 Aug 2016