Benign ear cysts are noncancerous lumps or growths in the ear.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
They commonly occur:
Behind the ear
In the ear canal
In the earlobe
On the scalp
The exact cause is unknown, but cysts may occur when oils are produced in a skin gland faster than they can be released from the gland.
The symptoms of cysts include:
- Pain (if cysts are in the outside ear canal or get infected)
- Small soft skin lumps on, behind, or in front of the ear
The symptoms of benign tumors include:
hearing lossin one ear
- Repeated outer ear infections
Note: There may be no symptoms.
Signs and tests
Benign cysts and tumors are usually discovered during a routine ear examination, which can include hearing tests (
This disease may also affect the results of the following tests:
Caloric stimulation Electronystagmography
If the cyst or tumor is not painful and does not interfere with hearing, treatment is not necessary.
If a cyst becomes painful, it may be infected. Treatment may include antibiotics or removal of the cyst.
Benign bony tumors may progressively increase in size. If a benign tumor is painful, interferes with hearing, or leads to frequent ear infections, surgery to remove the tumor may be necessary.
Benign ear cysts and tumors are usually slow-growing and may disappear on their own.
- Hearing loss if the tumor is large
- Infection of the cysts
- Infection of the ear canal
- Wax trapped in the ear canal
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have:
Symptoms of a benign ear cyst or tumor
Discomfort, pain, or hearing loss