The mastoid is part of the temporal skull bone that is positioned right behind the ear. The hollow pockets inside the mastoid are called as the mastoid sinus that connects to the inner ear and the Eustachian tube.
The bacteria linked with influenza, otitis media, strep and staph as well as pneumonia is known to infect the ear. The infection has the potential to spread starting from the inner ear up to the mastoid sinus to infect the nerves, bone and even the brain. The symptoms include the following:
- Pain and pressure
- Facial paralysis
- Impaired hearing
- Drainage of fluid from the ear
- Neck pain
Remember that mastoiditis is linked with acute and chronic ear infections. If left untreated, mastoiditis can be deadly. The headache that occurs above the ear in the temporal area after an exercise routine can indicate mastoiditis.
Link between exercise and mastoid sinus pain
In one study conducted, it was discovered that there is an increase on the intracranial pressure among individuals who engage in lower body exercises while lying on the back. The headache that manifests after exercising also occurs in some individuals. Take note that mastoiditis can increase the intracranial pressure and a headache once combined with exercises.
Mastoid sinus pain from exercise
A doctor should be consulted if the individual experiences a chronic headache linked with exercise. It is vital to seek immediate medical care if the individual experiences abrupt changes in the hearing, balance, mental state or sight. A MRI or CT scan is required in order to confirm a diagnosis of mastoiditis. In most cases, antibiotics specific to the bacteria should be prescribed to properly manage the infection. If the infections are not properly treated, it can cause hearing loss, external and internal abscesses or even brain damage.
How to reduce the risk for infection
It is vital to take the necessary precautions while exercising especially in public gyms. You can utilize an antibacterial solution on the equipment used before working out. It is also important to utilize athletic gloves while using free weights.
The gym attire used should be washed using soap and hot water. If possible, do not leave clothes in the gym bag for extended periods of time. A bathing cap should be used while swimming in public pools and beaches. In addition, avoid the gym if the individual has been sick or recovering from illness in order to minimize the risk of infecting others or become re-infected.
Who are at risk?
Individuals who are immunocompromised such as cancer patients, diabetics and those recovering from surgery are prone to bacterial infections that can cause mastoiditis. Individuals who are susceptible must take the necessary precautions while working out in public facilities.
The mastoiditis caused by fungus is uncommon among healthy individuals but capable of causing serious complications for those who have impaired immune function. The community-acquired MRSA can be deadly among immunocompromised individuals. The mastoid sinus pain due to MRSA can lead to serious side effects such as damage to the interior ear structure, vocal cords and skull bones.