A cholesteatoma is a serious condition of the ear and it is important to understand not just what it is but how it can occur to you and what you can do to diagnose and treat it. It can cause extensive damage to your ear and body. With the help of an ENT doctor, you can help determine if what you have is a cholesteatoma and what type of a treatment plan you can undertake. Contact The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida) in Coral Springs, Florida for more information.
Cholesteatoma definition & causes
A cholesteatoma is an infected skin cyst that occurs because of chronic negative pressure in the middle ear space. Negative pressure is caused by the eustachian tube not working well. Because the eustachian tube’s purpose to let the air equalize between the upper throat and the nose, if it does not work then then that is when the negative pressure arises. This can occur during childhood and over time, the negative pressure sucks in the eardrum to the point where it touches the middle ear or inner walls of the middle ear. When this occurs, skin will grow across those structures and eventually form a cyst. The inside of the cyst has dead skin and bacteria and is often infected.
While a cholesteatoma is not cancer, it does have destructive properties and can cause hearing loss if left untreated. It can also lead to a number of other symptoms which is why it is important to treat it as soon as possible. In severe cases, it can even cause death. An ENT doctor can provide you with diagnosis and treatment to ensure that your condition does not worsen.
Diagnosis & treatment
In order to diagnose a cholesteatoma, your ENT doctor will perform a number of tests. Of these, a CT scan may be ordered. These can help your doctor predict how much damage has been done as a result of the cholesteatoma. However, this is not true in all cases and you may not require a CT scan. Rarely, an MRI is ordered. One of the most valuable tests for your doctor, however, is a hearing test. These can help them determine the subtle changes in your hearing and can be extra valuable to patients in the long run.
Surgery is the most common treatment of cholesteatoma. Antibiotics can be prescribed to help temporarily but rarely will they make a positive impact in the long term. For this reason, your ENT doctor may encourage you to receive surgery to remove the cholesteatoma. If the cholesteatoma has spread, it may require a more extensive surgery.
Don’t suffer through a cholesteatoma on your own, especially with the dangers that can occur when you wait to treat it. An ENT doctor can help you diagnose and treat your cholesteatoma. If you are in the Coral Springs, Plantation, or Fort Lauderdale area, contact The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida). They can diagnose your cholesteatoma and give you the treatment plan you need.