Mastoiditis is a type of ear infection that occurs when the mastoid bone, located behind the ear, becomes infected. This infection usually arises as a complication of untreated or inadequately treated middle ear infections (otitis media).

Mastoiditis | Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Complications

When the middle ear infection spreads to the mastoid bone, it causes inflammation and leads to the formation of pus. This can result in severe pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness around the affected area. Other symptoms of mastoiditis may include fever, headache, hearing loss, drainage from the ear, and fatigue.

Mastoiditis primarily affects children, although adults can also develop this condition. Prompt medical attention and appropriate treatment are crucial to prevent serious complications, such as the spread of infection to nearby structures, meningitis, or brain abscess.

Treatment for mastoiditis usually involves a combination of antibiotic medications to eliminate the infection and drainage of the abscess or pus-filled area. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected mastoid bone or to create a drainage pathway.

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Prevention of mastoiditis involves proper management of middle ear infections. It is important to seek prompt medical care for ear infections to prevent them from progressing to mastoiditis. Adequate treatment and follow-up care are essential to avoid complications and promote a complete recovery.


  • Delayed or inadequate treatment of middle ear infections
  • Spread of bacterial infection from the middle ear to the mastoid bone
  • Blockage or inflammation of the Eustachian tube
  • Weakened immune system
  • Previous episodes of mastoiditis

Mastoiditis Symptoms

  • Pain or discomfort in the ear
  • Swelling and redness behind the ear
  • Tenderness and warmth on touch
  • Ear drainage or discharge
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Irritability or restlessness (in children)
  • Hearing loss or difficulty hearing
  • Dizziness or vertigo