The condition of mastoiditis, often mimic the signs and symptoms of ear infection. Affected individuals, especially children often experience the following signs:
In cases, when individuals show signs of ear infection, then ear examination will be done in order to determine whether the infection has spread from the ear to the mastoid bone. In addition, the following tests may also be done to further diagnose the condition of mastoiditis:
Long term treatment would be required for effective management of the condition. Often oral antibiotics would not be sufficient to effectively eradicate the infection. Therefore, in such cases antibiotics would be administered through the intravenous route .
Surgery is often the preferred method when antibiotics do not work. Surgical procedures are employed to remove part of the mastoid bone. This is done so the infection can be successfully drained. It would also be required to drain the infection from the middle ear in case the infection has spread to this area.
Mastoiditis can be successfully treated with appropriate management. However, in many instances, the condition can recur and in such cases treating it may become difficult . It is therefore advised that such individuals should get regularly checked for signs of middle ear infection.
Acute otitis media is the most common cause of mastoiditis. The infection may gradually spread to the mastoid bone in the skull. Untreated infection causes inflammation of the mucosal lining. With such a phenomenon, the mastoid bone gets accumulated with various infected materials; due to which, the honey-comb like structure of the mastoid bone undergoes gradual deterioration. The condition of mastoiditis most commonly strikes the children. It has been reported that children who are less than 2 years of age and are affected by the condition, usually do not present with history of otitis media.
In addition to otitis media, bacterial infections are also the common cause for mastoiditis. Various pathogens known to play foul include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyrogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis .
In the US, mastoiditis is reported to occur in about 0.004% population. The incidence of acute mastoiditis as a result of untreated otitis media is higher amongst young children and in the developing nations. It was reported that the incidence of this disease significantly reduced from 61 per 100,000 children to about 37 per 100,000 children .
The pathophysiology of mastoiditis involves 2 phenomenons, onset of infection, which causes the bacteria to spread from the middle ear to the mastoid cells followed by an inflammatory response of the mastoid bone. Various pathogenic microorganisms are known to cause the development of mastoiditis. The organisms that have a rare association with this condition are mycobacterium species. In some instances, mastoiditis can also be caused by cholesteatoma, which is a sac like structure in the middle ear  .
Effective treatment of all kinds of ear infection would help in preventing the spread of the infection to the mastoid bone. Individuals should be advised to promptly seek medical intervention to treat the condition. Taking full course of oral antibiotics would be necessary to effectively treat the bacterial infection .
Mastoiditis is a condition caracterized by infection of the mastoid bone. It is an inflammatory disease of the mucosal lining of the mastoid bone. The condition majorly occurs due to untreated otitis media and is one of the leading causes of childhood mortality. However, with the advent of antibiotics, incidences of mastoiditis have undergone significant decline. Infections of the middle ear when left untreated can pose serious health risks and favor the development of serious complications. Mastoiditis is a common occurrence amongst children; but adults too can get affected .