Getting an infection in or around your ear can cause some issues. It can throw off your sense of hearing and balance, and make doing everyday things like walking a serious chore. The other issue with ear infections is that if left untreated, they can spread and cause other issues like mastoiditis.
In this article, we’ll take a look at mastoiditis from its causes and mastoiditis complications, to a few mastoiditis home treatment tips that may be able to help you clear it up.
Causes and Symptoms of Mastoiditis
We’ve now mentioned the word a few times, but there may be a few of you who aren’t exactly sure what mastoiditis is or what causes it. Mastoiditis is when the mastoid bone becomes infected. The mastoid bone is the back part of the temporal bone located just behind the inner ear. It has a honeycomb-like structure inside of it.
When the mastoid bone becomes infected, that honeycomb structure becomes filled with the infected material, causing pain and discomfort. Most people that end up with mastoiditis will have to deal with a few of the following symptoms:
- Pain or discomfort in the ear
- Drainage (pus, discharge, ) from the ear
- Hearing loss
- Redness of the ear or behind the ear
- Fever (it may come on suddenly and become high quickly)
- Swelling behind the ear that may even cause your ear to stick out
- Swelling behind the eyes
You should note that mastoiditis is rare in this day in age due to the quick treatment of ear infections. When it does occur, it’s usually in children as opposed to adults. As you can see, the symptoms can be pretty aggravating, if not downright dangerous to your health. Luckily, there are ways to treat it.
Mastoiditis Home Treatment
Regarding mastoiditis home treatment, the bad news is, there’s not much in the way of mastoiditis treatments at home. However, there are not only a couple of mastoiditis home treatment tips, but also a few prevention methods that may be able to help you as well.
If you have an ear infection, wear earplugs when in the shower or swimming. Your ear is already having issues with draining, so don’t make it worse by adding water in there. Wearing earplugs can be uncomfortable, but they can prevent the infection from worsening to the point where mastoiditis can occur.
Echinacea can help prevent the onset of an ear infection. It can also help keep the symptoms slightly at bay when an ear infection takes place.
Xylitol is a plant-based sugar, but it also contains many antibiotic and antiviral properties that can help prevent mastoiditis from occurring. You can take a teaspoon or two, or use it as a nasal spray.
4. Garlic Oil
Garlic oil may be able to help with mastoiditis treatment due to its antibacterial properties. You can make garlic oil yourself by crushing garlic with a pestle and mortar and adding a little bit of olive oil.
Warm the concoction, pour it into your infected ear, and let it sit for awhile. Then, allow the oil to drain out of your ear. It can help clear out the bacteria as well as some of the discharge that may come with the infection.
5. Mullein Oil
Mullein oil can help relieve the pain of an ear infection due to its anti-inflammatory properties. For an added bonus, you can add garlic oil to it. Doing this can help clean out the bacteria, as well as relieve some of the pain that may come with the infection.
Unfortunately, if mastoiditis has taken a hold, you may have to take antibiotics to help clean out the infection. If the condition becomes too strong, the mastoid bone may have to be removed through surgery, but only as a last resort.
Mastoiditis Is No Joke!
While mastoiditis is uncommon, especially in adults, it can occur. The best course of action is to keep an eye on your ear infection. If your ear infection hasn’t cleared up after a few days, make plans to see a doctor to get a full assessment and make sure that it hasn’t turned into mastoiditis.
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“Mastoiditis In Adults Causes: Its Symptoms And Treatment Options,” Simple Remedies, June 13, 2014; http://www.simple-remedies.com/muscle-joints-bone-disorders/mastoiditis-in-adults-causes-treatment.html, last accessed June 27, 2017.