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Antibiotics and Mastoid Infections

Question from Daniel

I am 56 yrs. old and have had mastoid troubles since 5yrs old. I had my first ear surgery when I was 5 yrs. old on right ear with big scare behind the ear and another one right ear and left ear when I was 18yrs old and I have lost all hearing and feeling in left ear. I have frequent bouts with infection in right ear and have been using the drug “OFLAXACIN” with good results. I wear a hearing aid in left ear and have since 14yrs old.

Where did this come from and why does it (Mastoid Infection) and why does it keep flaring up? Would further surgery in this day and age do any good? What is the possibilities of losing all hearing in left ear? I have a loud rushing sound in my right ear all the time and when I discuss it with my ear specialist he doesn’t seem to concerned about it even though it bothers me a lot especially when I am very tired. Is there anything that can be done about it?????

Dear Daniel:

Mastoid infections are often very difficult to treat, and your story of recurrent infections and the need for repeated surgery is common. Mastoid infections probably result from inadequate aeration of the bony mastoid cavity. This then leads to persistent infection, drainage, scaring, and hearing loss. Fortunately, mastoid infections are becoming far less common these days with the development of strong antibiotics, increased awareness of the problem by physicians, and the use of tubes in cases of severe recurrent or persistent ear disease.

Unfortunately, your questions are impossible to address without a careful examination, a more detailed history of your prior problems, and a review of your CT scan and audiogram. I would suggest addressing your questions to your ear specialist. He/she should be able to give you more specific information.

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