MASTOIDITIS

mas·toid·i·tis

WHAT EXACTLY IS MASTOIDITIS?

Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone. This bone sits behind the ear, has a honey-comb like structure, and consists of air spaces called mastoid cells that help drain the middle ear. When these cells become infected or inflamed, mastoiditis can develop.


SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE:

*fever
*ear pain
*redness, swelling, tenderness in affected ear
*drainage from affected ear
*hearing loss in affected ear
*headache
*facial paralysis


DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT:

Diagnosis is based on a physical examination, medical history, and a MRI or CT scan. Ear drainage, if present, can be sent to the lab to culture and a white blood cell count may be drawn to help detect an infection. If these tests do indicate mastoiditis, a lumbar puncture may be done to make sure the infection has not spread to the spinal column.

Treatment:
*ear drops
*IV/oral antibiotics
*surgery
-mastoidectomy (removal of the infected bone)
-myringotomy (drainage of the middle ear)

If left untreated, mastoiditis can cause serious complications including hearing loss, blood clots, meningitis, and even a brain abscess.


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IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION:

*commonly affects children, but can affect adults as well
*usually caused by an untreated middle ear infection or a skin cyst blocking ear drainage
*if you think you may have an ear infection seek medical attention promptly
*it is important to treat an ear infection completely to help reduce the risks of mastoiditis
*make sure to take the full course of antibiotics prescribed, even if feeling better, to prevent re-occurrence and antibiotic resistance



Mastoiditis - Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute

Created By: Ashley Keppley, SPN