Mystery Illness: Mastoiditis or something else?

Posted by cromeo112 @cromeo112, Thu, Jul 11 2:39pm

Good afternoon. I am trying to get some help for my 75 year old mother who has had pressure in her head when sitting or standing, ringing in her ears, lightheaded. She originally had spikes in blood pressure but that has been brought under control with medication. This has been going on for 2 1/2 months and she has not been able to get relief. This may be a coincidence but the symptoms that she has started after she received a cortisone injection in her hip. She has been to her PCP, cardiologist, ENT, and a neurologist. She has had blood work, CAT scan, EKG, MRI, stress test, etc… and the doctors say that they have nothing to go on. The only thing that we saw made us think was the MRI indicated that she had some inflammation of the mastoid bone. Can mastoiditis cause these types of symptoms and how should we approach a doctor to consider this? Thank you.

Hi @cromeo112, welcome to Connect. It sure seems like your mother has been to see the right specialists and had relevant testing. It must be frustrating to not yet have found a cause for your mother's uncomfortable and distressing symptoms. WebMD's article on Mastoiditis lists many of the symptoms that you have listed. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/mastoiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments#1

Have you discussed the possibility of mastoiditis with her physicians? Has she had an ear infection?

Liked by lioness

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Good morning and thank you for your reply. She has not had an ear infection recently, the MRI indicated that there may be a correlation with mastoid inflammation. Can you tell me what that may mean?

Thank you!

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@colleenyoung

Hi @cromeo112, welcome to Connect. It sure seems like your mother has been to see the right specialists and had relevant testing. It must be frustrating to not yet have found a cause for your mother's uncomfortable and distressing symptoms. WebMD's article on Mastoiditis lists many of the symptoms that you have listed. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/mastoiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments#1

Have you discussed the possibility of mastoiditis with her physicians? Has she had an ear infection?

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Good morning. My mother had an appointment with her neurologist yesterday and he indicated that there was nothing neurologically wrong. Is there a practitioner who we would look to see that would have the ability to look at all of the testing and symptoms and provide some guidance? We live in the Maryland area so we have access to Johns Hopkins and if needed could go to the Philadelphia area as well. Thank you very much!

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@cromeo112

Good morning. My mother had an appointment with her neurologist yesterday and he indicated that there was nothing neurologically wrong. Is there a practitioner who we would look to see that would have the ability to look at all of the testing and symptoms and provide some guidance? We live in the Maryland area so we have access to Johns Hopkins and if needed could go to the Philadelphia area as well. Thank you very much!

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Hi, @cromeo112 – thanks for the update on your mother and her neurologist appointment for the pressure in her head when sitting or standing, ringing in her ears, lightheadedness and previous spikes in blood pressure. I can imagine it's been hard not getting answers thus far.

I'd like to bring @lioness @johnbishop @judysmayo @ravenamore @aarniek @phillipc421 @redhead63 @ggacker into this discussion for their input as you try and figure out what might be going on with your mom.

Sounds as though an academic medical center might be appropriate, if you've not yet visited one with her. @jeannels @bandolsmom and @amberpep may have some thoughts for you on a practitioner who might provide further guidance with your Maryland area location.

Did you get any further information or explanation, cromeo112, on the inflammation of the mastoid bone?

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@cromeo112

Good morning. My mother had an appointment with her neurologist yesterday and he indicated that there was nothing neurologically wrong. Is there a practitioner who we would look to see that would have the ability to look at all of the testing and symptoms and provide some guidance? We live in the Maryland area so we have access to Johns Hopkins and if needed could go to the Philadelphia area as well. Thank you very much!

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Hi. Has she seen someone who has assessed her musculoskeletal system in her neck. There are certain muscles, that when tighten/spasm will cause pain that radiates into the ear scalp head area. One muscle in particular that can cause pain behind the ear, and attaches in the mastoid area. These headaches that start from the upper cervical area can cause all kinds of odd dizziness/pressure sensations, and often times you can not tell it is coming from the neck. ENTs are supposed to be educated on the Jaw area and how all of these muscles can mimic ear/sinus pain. But unfortunately most are not.
Just a thought.

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@nrd1

Hi. Has she seen someone who has assessed her musculoskeletal system in her neck. There are certain muscles, that when tighten/spasm will cause pain that radiates into the ear scalp head area. One muscle in particular that can cause pain behind the ear, and attaches in the mastoid area. These headaches that start from the upper cervical area can cause all kinds of odd dizziness/pressure sensations, and often times you can not tell it is coming from the neck. ENTs are supposed to be educated on the Jaw area and how all of these muscles can mimic ear/sinus pain. But unfortunately most are not.
Just a thought.

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Hi, @nrd1 – sounded like you may be familiar from your personal experience. Wondering if you've also had the pain that radiates into the ear/scalp/head area you mentioned?

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