Mastoiditis – Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute

The mastoid is an air space that is connected
to the middle ear behind the eardrum. Typically they tend to be much more ill and
fevers are higher. If they see one ear kind of sticking out as
opposed to the other side and if you look behind the ear it looks a little reddish and
swollen, that would be a sign of mastoiditis. They may require stronger medications and
intravenous antibiotics as opposed to straight oral and maybe have to be admitted. If there is a significant amount of abscess,
meaning there is a puss collection in the ear or behind the ear, we would have to surgically
drain that. It can actually spread into the inner ear
which can cause a more permanent hearing loss. There are other structures in the ear. There is a nerve that makes your face move
so if that gets inflamed you could have a droopy face. If the infection spreads to the brain then
you can get brain infections such as meningitis. If we can catch it early and they get the
appropriate antibiotics it will limit and make it less likely to spread. Fortunately it’s not common. We may see them a handful of times a year. It’s something that, very common ear infections
and usually well treated but like a lot of things there is a chance it can spread to
mastoiditis and abscesses. Clearly, when it occurs we need to treat it
and take care of it.

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