Mastoiditis is an inflammation or infection of the mastoid bone. This bone is one of the many bones in the head and 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 health care provider for a diagnosis.
Your child’s health care 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 and fluid from the middle ear may be sent to the lab for further review.
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 or to stay in the hospital. Some children may require other surgery.
Possible complications include:
Mastoiditis is usually treated by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) health care provider. It is very important for your child to go to all follow-up appointments to check for hearing problems and other possible complications.
Mastoiditis is a complication of a middle ear infection. It’s very important to treat your child’s ear infection before it spreads to the mastoid bone.
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