Monday, October 24, 2011

Infection of Mastoid Sinuses: Causes and Symptoms

Infection of Mastoid Sinuses: Causes and Symptoms

Mastoiditis, a bacterial infection of mastoid air cells, could be acute or chronic. Acute otitis media’s complication is referred to as acute mastoiditis. Acute otitis media, an infection and inflammation of the middle ear, is common in children. Acute disorder can be diagnosed clinically, but sometimes computed tomography (CT) scan is required. Chronic mastoiditis is usually ascribed to chronic suppurative otitis media. Chronic mastoiditis is middle ear’s infection affecting the mastoid bone comprising several interconnected air-cells. Infected cells contain fluid that supports bacteria growth. Since the mastoid is middle ear cleft’s extension, all patients of chronic middle ear inflammation or acute otitis media suffer from mastoiditis.  The middle ear infection may rupture eardrums and infect mastoid air cells.


The infection may damage honeycomb structure of the mastoid sinuses. Chronic inflammation of the middle ear may result in tissue growth that may reach the mastoid bone and antrum. Coalescent mastoiditis occurs when inflammation and other symptoms of the disease persists over 2-4 weeks. This infection may obliterate mastoid sinusesand destroy lining around the bone. Cholesteatoma, a skin cyst in the middle ear, can also disrupt the ear drainage system, causing mastoiditis.

Mastoiditis generally occurs in infants and young children whose eardrums are ruptured and not treated.  Ears are irreplaceable assets. Take care of your kids’ ears. The condition generally develops in children of 1-2 years old. Some times, it may be found up to age of 8 years. Children who have history of middle ear infections that reoccur and ear infections are prone to mastoiditis. However, incidences of mastoiditis in adults are very less in number.

Common Symptoms

  • Discomfort or pain in the ear may occur.
  • Discharge from the ear is common. The source of discharge may be located in the perforated eardrum.
  • Entire ear or back of the ear may become red.
  • Swelling may occur behind the ear. A tender and painful abscess may occur due to mastoid bone’s damaged cortex. Abscess may burst. Swelling may push the ear downward and forward. The ear lobe may also swell.
  • Patients may suffer from high fever, which may increase suddenly.
  • Mastoiditis affects ability to hear.
  • Headache and irritability are two other common symptoms of the disease.


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