When Your Child Has Mastoiditis
Your child has mastoiditis. This condition is an infection of the mastoid, the hard, bony area located right behind the ear. The condition is most often the result of an infection that started in the middle ear and spread to the bone.
What Are the Risk Factors for Mastoiditis?
Mastoiditis is more common in children than adults. Having any of the following may make getting it more likely:
An ear infection
Eustachian tube problems
A problem with the immune system
Abnormal skin growth in the middle ear
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Mastoiditis?
Swelling over the mastoid bone causing the ear to turn forward
Redness behind the ear
Drainage from the ear canal or dizziness (uncommon)
Weakened facial muscles (rare)
How Is Mastoiditis Diagnosed?
Your child’s doctor will ask about your child’s medical history. The doctor will also perform a physical exam. This helps find the best treatment. An imaging test, such as CT scan, may be done to help the doctor make a diagnosis. These tests allow the doctor to view the mastoid area.
How Is Mastoiditis Treated?
If mastoiditis is suspected, your child will likely be admitted into the hospital for evaluation and treatment. Your child won’t be sent home until the infection has cleared. The hospital stay can last for
Once treated, the mastoid often causes no long-term problems. But left untreated, mastoiditis can lead to a serious infection in and around the brain. To protect your child’s health, follow-up with his or her regular doctor or ENT doctor.