Cholesteatoma is a form of abnormal skin growth usually resultant from the ear attempting to heal itself following a rupture of the eardrum. Instead of healing normally, skin may begin to grow into the perforated eardrum. Infection can cause this skin to swell with fluid, forming a benign tumor that exerts pressure on the delicate bones of the middle ear and may cause dizziness, conductive or sensorineural hearing loss, and balance problems. Though often described as a tumor of the ear, the presence of a cholesteatoma does not indicate cancer.
The key to preventing a cholesteatoma is the prevention of eardrum perforations. These injuries can have many causes, including sudden loud noises, blows to the ear, and even overzealous or inappropriate cleaning of the ear canal.
Most cholesteatomas are first identified by foul-smelling fluid draining from the afflicted ear, but other symptoms include:
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, contact your physician. After a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of the damage, your doctor may treat the existing infection using antibiotics. You may also be required to return to the office for a series of ear canal cleanings. Once the ear canal is relatively healthy and dry, your specialist will determine whether the growth requires surgical removal. Surgery is recommended for most healthy patients, but your doctor will determine the best treatment course based on your unique condition.
Masking: An electronic device called a masker may be worn to distract from the ringing sensation. Maskers fit in the ear similarly to hearing aids and produce low-level sounds. In addition, bedside sound generators and other devices can also help remove the perception of ringing.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy:A therapeutic process in which we specialize, and has given relief to many of our patients. Our process is a combination of sound therapy and counseling, which alters the brain’s neural signals and weakens the perception of tinnitus, allowing you to live your daily life far more peacefully.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:A type of counseling that helps to change the body’s emotional reaction to tinnitus by altering negative thought patterns and helping to relieve stress.
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