Treating chronic mastoiditis, regardless of age, consists of applying eardrops, undergoing regular ear cleaning by a physician and taking antibiotics. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary, states WebMD.
Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection of the middle ear, containing the mastoid bone. Infection or inflammation leads to an inner ear infection and subsequently to mastoiditis. Although this type of ear infection affects children, adults are also prone to developing mastoiditis, says WebMD.
Symptoms of mastoiditis include lethargy, irritability and fever as well as swelling of the ear lobe. Other symptoms include tenderness and redness behind the ear and drainage from the ear. These symptoms help a physician diagnose mastoiditis, along with diagnostic testing, such as blood test, ear culture and X-ray. For severe mastoiditis, diagnosing the condition involves using an MRI or CT scan as well as using a spinal tap for suspected cases of spinal meningitis accompanying the mastoiditis, according to WebMD.
Treatment for the worst cases of mastoiditis involves surgical removal of the infected mastoid bone or making a hole in the eardrum. The hole facilitates fluid release, relieving pressure. Inserting a small tube into the infected area helps with ventilating and preventing future fluid buildup. After about six months to a year, the tube falls out automatically, according to WebMD.