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If you have been suffering from earaches, drainage, or loss of hearing in one ear, a cholesteatoma may be to blame. A cholesteatoma is an abnormal skin growth that forms when part of the eardrum retracts into the middle ear. Infections or tears on the eardrum can result in an expanding cyst or pouch that pushes into the middle ear. As this pouch expands, it can push on the delicate middle ear bones responsible for transmitting sounds to the inner ear. People suffering with this condition experience symptoms including dizziness, hearing loss in the affected ear, facial paralysis, taste disturbance, and pain or numbness in or around the ear.
Your doctor may recommend a professional examination or surgery to remove the infection, and restore normal hearing. Usually, if left untreated, the cholesteatoma will continue to grow, and your symptoms may persist or get worse. A cholesteatoma can be dangerous if ignored; do not wait to ask your doctor about tests and treatments for the condition.