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What causes a cholesteatoma?

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  • A cholesteatoma can happen for several reasons: You get an ear infection or injury. Sometimes after an operation on your ear, a cold, or an allergy, your Eustachian tube doesn't work normally. A vacuum is created in your middle ear, which sucks in your ear drum, making a sac -- the perfect place for skin cells to collect. Cholesteatomas caused by ear infections are the most common kind.
  • You have a problem with a Eustachian tube. If the tube that connects your ear and your nose doesn't work the way it should, your eardrum can't handle changes in pressure well. That can make it collapse and become a pocket. Skin cells build up in the pocket and form a cholesteatoma.
  • It forms when you do. In rare cases, cholesteatomas start while babies are still developing. Part of the lining of the ear gets trapped inside bone as it grows. These are usually found early in childhood.

From: Benign Ear Cyst (Cholesteatoma) WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: "Cholesteatoma."

American Journal of Neuroradiology : "Neuroradiology of Cholesteatomas ."

Mayo Clinic: "CT Scan."

Medscape: "Cholesteatoma."

Mount Sinai Hospital: "Cholesteatoma."

NHS Choices: "Cholesteatoma."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on February 08, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: "Cholesteatoma."

American Journal of Neuroradiology : "Neuroradiology of Cholesteatomas ."

Mayo Clinic: "CT Scan."

Medscape: "Cholesteatoma."

Mount Sinai Hospital: "Cholesteatoma."

NHS Choices: "Cholesteatoma."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on February 08, 2019

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How do doctors diagnose a cholesteatoma?

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