Mastoiditis – A Serious Condition Related to Ear Infection

Trained in orofacial plastic surgery and general otolaryngology, Dr. Frank Brettschneider is the president of Port Huron Ear, Nose, and Throat, PC, in Michigan. As such, Dr. Frank Brettschneider is experienced in treating illnesses common among infants and young children, as well as mastoiditis, a more serious condition.

Typically caused by an acute middle ear infection, mastoiditis occurs when the infection spreads to the skull’s mastoid bone. As infected material fills the mastoid bone, its structure, which similar to that of a honeycomb, is at risk of deterioration.

Common symptoms of mastoiditis include ear pain, drainage from the ear, hearing loss, and headache. In addition, the ear may become red, with swelling occurring behind the ear. Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, mastoiditis was a leading cause of death among children. Currently, mastoiditis can be treated with injected antibiotics, followed by a course of oral antibiotics. However, the condition can be difficult to treat, as drugs may not penetrate deep enough into the mastoid bone to quell the infection. In severe cases, part of the bone may need to be removed in order to drain the mastoid.


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