Dubai: A Filipino expat in the UAE has recovered from partial hearing loss after suffering from a condition rare for this region.
Two weeks ago, Fernando Jr Villatima, 34, had come in for a consultation complaining of dizziness, headaches and partial loss of hearing, said Dr Prashant Sharma, specialist ENT (Ear Nose Throat) surgeon at Prime Hospital.
A detailed examination of the patient revealed that his was a severe case of cholesteatoma, a kind of cyst, which was infected.
‘Failed to get it checked’
Dr Sharma told Gulf News: “Fernando must have had the problem for three or four years and had neglected it. He told me he had some discomfort in the ear and a foul smelling discharge, a couple of years ago. However, he had failed to get it checked.”
The cyst, which is a tissue mass, grew and started secreting enzymes that began corroding the bones of his inner ear and the skull, creating pressure on the tympanic membrane, he added. The epithelial cells from the membrane were collecting in the eardrum cavity and an examination revealed a retracted eardrum and infection in the tissue mass.
The surgery was tricky as Dr Sharma had to be mindful of the small space while drilling into the inner ear, being careful not to invade the sinuses, the facial nerves or the skull bones.
“It took me two hours to excise the mass, reconstruct the ear drum and the corroded bone. There are major blood vessels from the middle ear going to the brain. I had to be very careful not to rupture those or damage the facial nerve. This is by far the bigger cholesteatoma I have operated on. Had it been neglected further, it could have caused a brain abscess and increased the intracranial pressure,” said Dr Sharma.
On the rebound
Villatima, who has been coming in for follow-ups post surgery, reported a complete end to the feeling of dizziness and heachaches. His sense of hearing is on the rebound, getting back to normal and he is thankful the cyst was caught in time.
‘Don’t ignore symptoms’
Dr Sharma cautioned residents not to ignore any pain, dizziness or loss of hearing symptoms as middle ear problems can get complicated easily. “A small issue which can be resolved easily can cause very serious complications as the middle and inner ear are so intricately connected to our brain. My advice to patients is not to ignore any such signs of discomfort and get it resolved as such conditions are completely treatable.”