PROFESSOR TONY WRIGHT, INSTITUTE OF LARYNGOLOGY & OTOLOGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROFESSOR TONY WRIGHT, INSTITUTE OF LARYNGOLOGY & OTOLOGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cholesteatoma of the eardrum, otoscope view. This condition is a posterior cholesteatoma (not visible here), where a mass of dead skin cells has accumulated on a retraction pocket on the tympanic membrane (eardrum). A cholesteatoma is a complication of this condition, and can have serious consequences. A cholesteatoma can cause tissue erosion, damage to the inner ear, profound hearing loss, vertigo, facial nerve damage and palsy. In serious cases it can cause a brain abscess. If infected, the dead skin results in a foul-smelling discharge.
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