The infection may also spread to the facial nerve (cranial nerve VII), causing facial-nerve palsy which can produce weakness or paralysis of some facial muscles on that side of the face. Other complications include Bezold's abscess, an abscess (a collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue) behind the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck, or a subperiosteal abscess, between the periosteum and mastoid bone ( resulting in the typical appearance of a protruding ear). Serious complications result if the infection spreads to the brain.
If you suspect that you might have developed mastoiditis, we highly recommend that you seek the advice of a doctor as soon as possible. They will invite you for an initial ear examination, where they will look inside your ear to evaluate your ear's function and check for any inflammation. If they suspect you have an infection, they may recommend further tests to confirm the diagnosis, which may include x-rays, blood tests and swabbed ear-fluid cultures. If your infection is thought to be severe, you may also be sent for a CT or MRI scan.
The first-line treatment for arteritis is oral glucocorticoid (steroid) medication, such as prednisone, taken daily for a period of three months.  After this initial phase, the medication may be reduced in dose or frequency, . every other day, if possible.  If the disease worsens with the new treatment schedule, a cytotoxic medication may be given, in addition to the glucocorticoid.  Commonly used cytotoxic agents include azathioprine, methotrexate, or cyclophosphamide.  The dose of glucocorticoid medication may be decreased if response to treatment is good.  This medication may be reduced gradually once the disease becomes inactive, slowly tapering the dose (to allow the body time to adjust) until the medication may be stopped completely.  Conversely, if the disease remains active, the medication will need to be increased.  After six months, if the medication cannot be reduced in frequency to alternate days, or if in 12 months the medications cannot be stopped completely, then treatment is deemed to have failed.