Last Updated on Apr 04, 2019

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Cholesteatoma?

Initial symptoms and signs of cholesteatoma may include:

  • Smelly ear discharge
  • Gradual hearing loss in one ear
  • Pain in ear
  • Feeling of pressure inside one ear
  • One-sided headaches

Other serious complications due to untreated cholesteatoma which require immediate medical attention and treatment include:

  • Dizziness (possible inner ear involvement)
  • Numbness on one side of face
  • Muscle weakness on one side of the face (due to nerve damage)
  • Redness and tenderness behind the ear may indicate spread of infection to the mastoid process.
  • Persistent ear discharge and high fever (due to chronic ear infection)
  • Confusion and fever (due to possible brain involvement)
  • Permanent loss of hearing due to damage to bones in the middle ear
Ear Pain, Foul-Smelling Ear Discharge and Hearing Loss: Chief Symptoms of Cholesteatoma (Ear Disease)


  1. US department of health and human services- National institute of Health - Cholesteatoma - (
  2. How Long is Long Enough to Follow up Children After Cholesteatoma Surgery? - (
  3. An overview of chronic ear infections & cholesteatoma - (
  4. Types of Vestibular Disorders- cholesteatoma - (
  5. Chronic Otitis Media, Cholesteatoma and Mastoiditis - (
  6. What is a Cholesteatoma? - (

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