The patient wears headphones when air conduction is tested and a vibrating earpiece behind the ear next to the mastoid bone or along the forehead when bone conduction is tested.
Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection of the air cells in the mastoid bone of the skull.
The infection may spread from the ear to the mastoid bone of the skull, which is the bony bump off the base of the skull, located just behind the ears slightly above the level of the earlobe.
The mastoid bone is composed of air cells that are in communication with the middle ear.
A head CT scan or CT of the ear may show a fluid-filled middle ear and an abnormality in the mastoid bone.