Mastoiditis | What is Mastoiditis, Mastoid Bone, Causes of Mastoiditis, Symptoms and Treatment Options

What is Mastoiditis?

Mastoiditis is an inflammation or infection of the mastoid bone, which is a portion of the temporal bone. (The bone on skull just behind the ear. If you put your finger, you can feel it) The mastoid consists of air cells that drain the middle ear. Mastoiditis can be a mild infection or can develop into life-threatening complications. Mastoiditis is usually a complication of acute otitis media (middle ear infection).

What is Mastoid Bone and its relation to Mastoiditis?

Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection that affects the mastoid, a delicate bone behind the ear and is the rarest of all ear infections. Its structure is similar to that of a honeycomb, helping to maintain air space in the middle ear. When it becomes infected or inflamed, the porous bone begins to break down, causing visible swelling.

Why Mastoid Infection occour?

The infection normally occurs as a result of a persistent middle ear infection, and can spread outside of the mastoid bone, causing multiple complications if you do not deal with it quickly. The infection is most common in children, although as an adult, you can be affected too. If you or your child has recently suffered from a middle ear infection, take note of your doctor’s advice and recovery recommendations to minimise the risks of developing mastoiditis.

Symptoms of Mastoiditis?

It’s important to be aware of the warning signs:

  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Swelling behind your ear
  • Redness and tenderness of your ear
  • Ear discharge
  • A middle ear infection that seemingly hasn’t gone away

Mastoiditis treatment options?

Specific treatment for mastoiditis will be determined by your child’s doctor based on:

  1. Your child’s age, overall health and medical history
  2. Extent of the disease
  3. Your child’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  4. Expectations for the course of the condition
  5. Your opinion or preference

Treatment of mastoiditis usually requires hospitalization and a complete evaluation by a doctor who specializes in the ear, nose, and throat disorders (otolaryngologist). Your child, in most cases, will receive antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) catheter. Surgery is sometimes needed to help drain the fluid from the middle ear.

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