9 Symptoms of Mastoiditis

The occasional annoying ear infection is an ailment that most people are not a stranger to. Often, people go to the doctor when the first signs of an ear infection evince themselves and are treated with antibiotics. However, when people let an ear infection go untreated for an extended period, the ear infection can progress into a mastoiditis, an infection of the mastoid air cells, which play a role in guarding the temporal bone and other structures that are inside the ear and balancing the pressure inside the ear. The mastoid air cells rest on the mastoid bone, which play a role in the conduction of sound from the ear to the brain. A mastoiditis occurs when bacteria from a middle ear infection spreads to the mastoid air cells.

1. Ear Pain

Ear pain that has been going on for an extensive period of time is the tell-tale sign of a mastoiditis. People experience ear pain as the primary symptom of any ear infection; therefore, if the pain is going on for an extensive period, the most likely reason behind the pain is an untreated middle ear infection that is developing or has already developed into a mastoiditis. The pain typically feels like it is coming from deep within the ear or the back of the ear. The pain’s severity tends to increase at night. Babies who are experiencing an ear ache may feel warm and cranky.

Children who are experiencing an ear ache may be touching and playing with their ear often. Babies and children may lose their appetite and have trouble sleeping. Ear pain may present itself in abnormal hearing and balance. When a person goes to the doctor and complains of an earache, the doctor will look in his or her ear with an otoscope to determine the presence of an infection or other cause of pain. An ear culture may need to be taken. If the infection is has progressed to a point where it is difficult to be seen via an otoscope, a CT scan might be necessary to make a diagnosis.