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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Fluid in the mastoid air cells



I had a severe middle Ear and Swimmers Ear infection at the same time over a month ago after a minor cold. I completed a 10 day antibiotic prescription (Augmentin XR 1000mg). I had my eardrum cut twice for drainage and suctioned multiple times for removal of fluid. A hearing test reveals "nerve type" hearing loss in the infected ear. I had an MRI this past weekend which shows "diffuse abnormal fluid signal seen throughout the right mastoid air cells and temporal bone area."

While I am feeling better, I still have a feeling of fullness in the infected ear. My ENT wants to refer me to another ENT that sub-specializes in the EAR. However, I can`t get an appointment for 5 weeks. Should I be concerned about this fluid in the mastoid air cells and can it spread? And, if it is infected fluid would I know it? Please HELP!


If it were still infected you most likely would have pain.  I think it is prudent to see an otologist or ear specialist, but it likely can wait until your scheduled appointment.

Ultimately, you may need more definitive surgery to rid your ear of this fluid.

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Response by:

Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Skull Base Surgery Fellowship, Director of Adults Cochlear Implantation Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati