Mastoiditis is caused by the same types of bacteria which cause middle ear infections (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae), as well as by a variety of other bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Pseuodomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella, Escherichia coli, Proteus, Prevotella, Fusobacterium, Porphyromonas, and Bacteroides). Mastoiditis may occur due to the progression of an untreated, or undertreated, middle ear infection.
Symptoms of mastoiditis may at first be the same as symptoms of an early middle ear infection. With progression, however, the swollen mastoid may push the outer ear slightly forward and away from the head. The area behind the ear will appear red and swollen, and will be very sore. There may be drainage of pus from the infected ear. In some cases, the skin over the mastoid may develop an opening through which pus drains. Fever is common.
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