Mastoiditis is an inflammation or infection of the mastoid bone. This bone is one of the bones in the head. It is located behind the ear. The mastoid bone is made of cells that drain the middle ear. Mastoiditis may be mild or very serious.
Mastoiditis is a complication of a middle ear infection. It happens when the infection in the middle ear spreads into the mastoid bone.
Here are the most common symptoms of mastoiditis:
The symptoms of mastoiditis may look like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask questions about your child’s health history and current symptoms. He or she will examine your child. The provider will pay close attention to the ears, nose, and throat. He or she will use a lighted instrument called an otoscope to look at the middle ear. Your child may need an X-ray and CT scans of the mastoid area. Fluid from the middle ear may be sent to the lab to be checked.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment usually includes antibiotic medicine and draining the middle ear. Your child may need ear tubes. Your child may need to stay in the hospital. Some children may need other surgery.
Possible complications include:
Mastoiditis is usually treated by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor. It is very important for your child to go to all follow-up appointments to check for hearing problems and other complications.
Mastoiditis is a complication of a middle ear infection. So it is important to treat an ear infection before it spreads to the mastoid bone.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: