After surgery, you may hear popping and cracking sounds for 3 to 5 weeks. This is normal, and the sounds usually go away with time. You may also have short-term or permanent hearing loss after surgery. Permanent hearing loss occurs if your caregiver needed to remove your inner ear during surgery. Turning off noisy devices in your home, such as the radio, can help you better hear people speaking. Ask people to face you when speaking and to avoid shouting. Good lighting in your home can help you see people's faces better when they are speaking to you. Ask your caregiver about devices, such as a hearing aid, that may help improve your hearing.
This procedure involves removing the ear canal wall that separates the ear canal from the mastoid cavity behind it. This procedure creates a large cavity that can be easily examined through the ear canal opening. Thus, all cholesteatoma disease is removed from the ear and the large mastoid cavity is cleaned intermittently in the office. A procedure to enlarge the opening of the ear canal (meatoplasty) is always performed to allow aeration of the mastoid cavity and to permit easy visualization in the office to permit postoperative care and self-cleaning.
Audiometry results may be affected in patients with anatomic anomalies, such as narrow or collapsing ear canals (stenosis of the ear canal), complete canal occlusion, or absence of an ear canal (atresia). Impacted cerumen can cause a conductive hearing loss ( Figure 1 ) that typically resolves following cerumen removal. Collapsed ear canals occur in many older patients whose cartilage has become flaccid. Placing an over-the-ear headphone over already narrow or closed ear canals may add sufficient pressure to collapse the ear canals even further, resulting in a false high-frequency hearing loss. An otoscopic examination should be performed before the hearing test to ensure that the tympanic membrane is at least partially visible.