Mastoiditis Symptoms & Causes

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What causes mastoiditis?

Mastoiditis is usually a result of an extension of the inflammation of the middle ear infection into the mastoid air cells. If your child has mastoiditis, she probably had a recent ear infection or has middle ear infections that continue to reoccur. The risk of mastoiditis is reduced with the use of antibiotics for ear infections. Mastoiditis may be caused by various bacteria.

What are the symptoms of mastoiditis?

Symptoms may include:

  • pain behind the ear
  • swelling of the ear lobe
  • recent ear infection
  • fever
  • irritability
  • redness or swelling of the bone behind the ear
  • drainage from an ear infection

What are the effects of mastoiditis?

If the infection continues to spread, despite antibiotic therapy, the following complications may occur:

  • meningitis--an infection of the outside of the brain.
  • brain abscess--a pocket of pus and infection that may develop in the brain

Early and proper treatment of mastoiditis is necessary to prevent the development of these life-threatening complications.

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