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Mastoiditis

Overview

Mastoiditis is an infection of the part of temporal bone of the skull that is behind the ear, it contains open and air-containing spaces. It is a leading cause of child mortality. The infection spread to the surrounding structures including the brain and causes serious complications, if it is not treated. In this disease, an ear infection spreads to the mucus membrane surrounding the mastoid and reaches the walls of the bone itself.


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Causes

It is caused by the untreated middle ear infection. Bacteria that cause mastoiditis are pneumococcus, Hemophilus influenza and gram-negative organisms. Mastoiditis is a complication of chronic otitis media and acute otitis media. Mastoiditis is caused due to the inflammation of the middle ear infection.


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Signs & Symptoms

Some common symptoms of mastoiditis include pain, tenderness, and swelling in the mastoid region which is followed by ear pain and redness of the ear or mastoid region. Fever or headaches are also present. Infants usually show symptoms like diarrhea or irritability. Drainage from the ear occurs in serious cases.

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Prevention

Antibiotics for ear infections and methods to drain fluid from the ears helps to prevent mastoiditis.


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Treatments
Antibiotic medications Modern Medicine

Treatment of mastoiditis consists of intense intravenous or intramuscular antibiotic therapy.  Antibiotics such as ceftriaxone are given. In some cases diseased bone is removed and affected area is cleaned. An inflamed mastoid bone requires radical mastoidectomy in which the posterior wall of the ear canal, tympanic membrane, and the malleus and incus bones are cut down as these bones get destroyed by infection before surgery. The patient continues oral antibiotic therapy for several weeks after surgery.

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