Discussions By Condition: Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat conditions


  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 25, 2006
  • 11:27 PM

My wife had an MRI which shows a finding of "left mastoiditis" from the Radiologist. She is 62 and everything we have read seems to indicate that it is usually a childhood problem. This started after a throat/neck gland infection jumped into the left ear creating an almost total hearing loss in this ear, as well as shooting pains, loss of smell, taste, and equilibrium. In addition, she had Herpes Zoster of the left side of her face/head about 20 years ago which left extensive nerve damage. She has taken Neurontin since that time. In addition to these symptoms, she has also sustained some blisters on her face such as she had 20 years ago from the Zoster. We have sought help from an EMT doctor, as well as a Neurologist. This has gone on for over a month, during which time Valtrex was prescribed. Her immune system is now almost non-existent. The taste/smell/equilibrium has improved, as well as a small amount of hearing returned. After the radiologist's impression of "left mastoiditis", we have been told by the ENT that she should have the inner ear drained through the eardrum because they are not confident that she has mastoiditis. Even though we, after investigation, understand that the treatment for this is IV anti-biotics followed by oral anti-biotics, our ENT disagrees. Since the complications are potentially debilatating if left "untreated", we are panicked now regarding treatment. My question is "Who do we believe and what in the world should we do?" Even though we live in a huge metroplex (Dallas-Ft. Worth area), we have NOT had good luck with specialists in our area for all our medical needs. HELP!!!

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2 Replies:

  • the way I look at it is run and find a doctor that will listen if you have to go to ten of them in a month just do it. I am a firm believer in keep asking until they tell you NO and go and find someone that will say yes. I personally have had many things wrong with this body and the first thing that I have found is that doctors these days like to treat symptoms and not the problem, so good luck to you and your wife and hope that you find a doctor that will treat her!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Do not base the diagnosis of "mastoiditis" on the MRI findings alone. Some radiologists will incorrectly report any fluid in the mastoid air cells as "mastoiditis" although it is more appropriately called a "mastoid effusion." In the overwhelming majority of cases, fluid in the mastoid, which is very commonly seen, is not due to an infection, but rather due to Eustachian tube dysfunction.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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