Mastoiditis is a condition wherein there is a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone. This article provides some information about the condition, its symptoms and treatment.
The bulge of your skull that you feel behind your ear, is the exact location where mastoiditis occurs. It is a bacterial infection that infects the mastoid air cells that are found in the bulging area. It usually occurs when a middle ear infection that has not been treated, reaches the mucous membrane that surrounds the mastoid air cells and finally reaches the bone, thus causing an infection. Usually, children are mostly affected by this condition. However, if one is aware of its symptoms and gets an early treatment for the same, he/she would be able to recover in no time.
There are several symptoms of this infection. On observing any of these, one should immediately take the affected person to the doctor. Although it’s mainly children who are affected by the same, even adults can be affected by it. So, it is necessary to be careful as it could lead to loss of hearing.
- The main symptom is ear pain or maybe discomfort in the ear.
- Along with this, the person might also experience a slight or bad headache.
- Besides this, the person might also experience hearing loss.
- Further, the affected person may experience a pain in the mastoid area.
- This area may also start swelling and turn red in color. The region also becomes tender.
- Drainage from the ear starts. There might be drainage of blood, or pus, or maybe earwax.
- The affected person feels an irritation in his/her ear.
- The affected person’s ear would feel warmer than the normal body temperature, on touching the same.
In the affected children, however, it has been observed that they lose their appetite and become very irritable.
Although there are several treatments available, it may be difficult as the medication cannot reach the mastoid bone deep enough. Thus, the treatment may become a long-term one or it may have to be repeated. It includes an antibiotic treatment first through injections and then orally. The antibiotics that are given are mainly ticarcillin, clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, and gentamicin. They help kill the infection causing bacteria. However, if this fails, then a surgery is required wherein one part of the bone is removed and the middle ear is drained. This process is known as mastoidectomy. A surgery to drain the middle ear through the eardrum may be required so as to treat the middle ear infection and is known as myringotomy. After this, the antibiotic treatments are continued.
If the infection is not treated on time, then it could also result in serious health complications such as meningitis or a brain abscess. Thus, it is better to consult the concerned doctor and get it treated on time. Furthermore, as this condition has been mostly observed in children, the parents should be careful and not ignore if their kids are experiencing ear aches, have swollen ears, or any such indications. The affected children should be taken to the doctor immediately.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.