MASTOIDITIS: This is inflammation of the mastoid, a small piece of the skull which lies directly behind the ear.
SYMPTOMS: There is deep-seated pain and tenderness over the mastoid process, more or less fever, swelling, and in some cases pus formation.
CAUSES: In cases where earache, otitis media, is treated with heat, dry wiping, syringing, etc., and the causes of the catarrhal inflammation ignored, as is usually the case, the inflammation may extend to the porous bone back of the ear--the mastoid. This does not occur in the vast majority of cases, for nature is always busy limiting inflammation as much as possible. Mastoiditis will never occur as a "complication" of otitis media, if the earache is properly cared for and not merely suppressed and then forgotten.
CARE OF THE PATIENT: Operation is the usual recourse. It is a very dangerous procedure and seldom advisable. Rest, warmth, fasting and fresh air will speedly remedy nearly all such cases.