Ear Problems – Mastoiditis

Mastoiditis pic

Mastoiditis
Image: webmd.com

An otolaryngologist, Dr. Frank Brettschneider treats patients with conditions of the ear, nose, and throat through his private practice in Port Huron, Michigan. In preparation for his medical career, Dr. Frank Brettschneider completed his otolaryngology and oro-facial plastic surgery residency at Clemens General Hospital. Among the conditions he is experienced at treating is mastoiditis.

The mastoid is a bone that makes up a portion of the skull that runs behind the ear. Sometimes, this bone can became infected, giving rise to a condition called “mastoiditis.” Usually, the infection begins in the ear and then spreads to the mastoid bone. Most cases of mastoiditis appear in children, and before the era of antibiotics, the condition was a major contributor to childhood mortality.

Symptoms of mastoiditis include hearing loss, which often gets worse as the infection progresses. Moreover, the condition causes pain, fever, and redness in the area around the mastoid. It many also result in ear discharge resembling pus.

Once settled in the mastoid, the infection can be hard to address in that drugs have difficulty penetrating the bone. Doctors may suggest oral and injected antibiotics or, in cases where antibiotics fail, surgery to clean out the mastoid.

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.