The ear is divided in three parts:
Any of these three parts can become infected by bacteria, fungi or viruses, resulting in these conditions:
Bacteria grow in dark, warm, wet places. A fluid-filled ear is an excellent environment for bacteria. As the infection worsens, not only pain, but also a foul odor coming from the ear can be present.
Cholesteatoma is a growth that occurs in an abnormal location (the skin of the eardrum) due to repeated infection. If the cholesteatoma enlarges , it can ruin the delicate bones around the middle ear. At the beginning of the infection the ear may drain, sometimes with a foul odor. As the cholesteatoma pouch or sac increases in size, it create a full feeling or pressure in the ear, along with hearing loss, dizziness, and facial muscle paralysis.