Ear & Hearing
The middle ear is connected to a complex system of air filled spaces in the mastoid bone (the mastoid air cells). Infections from the middle ear may spread from the middle ear to the mastoid causing mastoiditis. In acute infections, patients experience fever, pain in the ears, headache and decreased hearing. Acute mastoiditis may sometimes lead to severe complications including abscess formation and meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain). Urgent treatment is required to treat acute mastoiditis including intravenous antibiotics, myringotomy (an operation where an opening in the ear drum is created surgically for drainage of pus and restoration of ventilation), abscess drainage and mastoidectomy (an operation to remove the diseased mastoid air cells.