When I was little, my parents said I had cholesteatoma. I don't know many others who have had it. What is it?

Benign ear tumor. This tumor often arises from untreated middle ear infections. It can be present from birth (congenital). If you have normal hearing in that ear now, it probably was removed or did not grow large enough to cause problems.
Cholesteatoma. Cholesteatoma is a growth of skin cells occurring behind the ear drum that causes damage to the ear drum itself, the middle ear bones and in some instances the inner ear, the facial nerve, and the blood vessels supplying brain structures. It can lead to more serious problems including chronic ear infections, permanent hearing loss and dizziness. Incidence in us is 7 per 100, 000 children per yr.