If you or your child have been experiencing pain behind the ear along with a fever, a swollen ear lobe, a drooping ear, or ear drainage, call our office right away. You could have a serious infection called Mastoiditis that needs prompt medical attention.
What Is Mastoiditis?
Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection in the prominent bone behind the ear called the mastoid process. When your ear infection (known as acute otitis media) isn’t adequately treated, bacteria can spread into the bone and sometimes beyond into the blood and brain. If left untreated, you can develop facial paralysis, deafness, meningitis, brain abscess, and sepsis.
Symptoms of Mastoiditis
Following an ear infection, you may notice these symptoms:
- Red, swollen and tender skin around the large bone behind the ear
- The ear may be pushed sideways and down, causing it to droop or bulge
- Thick, creamy ear drainage
- Throbbing, persistent pain behind the ear
- Hearing loss
We Diagnose and Treat Mastoiditis
If you or your child exhibit symptoms of Mastoiditis, your doctor will schedule a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. Also, they will take a sample of ear drainage to test the bacteria. Depending on the severity of the infection, your doctor will give you an oral or intravenous antibiotic. If an abscess has formed in the bone, your doctor will perform surgery to remove the infected part of the bone. Furthermore, you may also need surgery to drain fluid from the middle ear. If that’s the case, your doctor will insert a small tube to keep the hole from closing. Generally, your tube will fall out by itself within 6 or 12 months.
Call Sound Health Services Right Away If You Suspect Mastoiditis
Most importantly, you should call a doctor any time you have pain behind the ear, ear drainage, and other symptoms of this dangerous infection due to the severe effects of untreated Mastoiditis. If you have these symptoms, we encourage you to call our office right away to schedule an appointment at (314) 729-0077.