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Health

Cholesteatoma

What is cholesteatoma?

Cholesteatoma is a skin-containing cyst or growth located in or near the middle ear. The growth can be either present at birth (congenital) or can form later in childhood, sometimes as a complication of chronic ear infections.

Symptoms

  • Drainage from the ear
  • Hearing loss in one ear
  • Pain in the ear
  • Dizziness

Diagnosis

An ear exam with a device called otoscope to look inside the ear and check for abnormalities of the ear drum is required. Specialized examination of the ear with a microscope, CT scan and hearing tests may be helpful.

Treatment

The typical treatment is surgery. If untreated, cholesteatomas can lead to deafness, facial nerve paralysis and other complications affecting the brain.

When to Call for Help

Call your pediatrician if you notice any of the symptoms listed above in your child.

Jonathan Walsh with patient

Johns Hopkins Pediatric Otolaryngology

Our pediatric otolaryngologists are committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care for children with ear, nose, and throat conditions. As part of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, you have access to all the specialized resources of a children's hospital. Your child will also benefit from experts who use advanced techniques to treat both common and rare conditions.

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