The mastoid is a honeycomb cavity in the bone, which lies directly behind the ear and is connected to the middle ear space (which lies between the eardrum and the inner ear). When a hole arises in the eardrum due to previous injury or infection or when a longstanding infection persists in the middle ear or mastoid, mastoid surgery often becomes necessary to alleviate this infection.
Tympanostomy tubes have been utilized for almost 60 years to equalize the pressure in the middle ear. The tubes, which come in various shapes and sizes, are placed through a hole made in the tympanic membrane, or eardrum, and allow for air to pass from the ear canal into the middle ear.
The middle ear is located behind the eardrum, or tympanic membrane, and contains three bones known as ossicles. These ossicles help to conduct and amplify outside sound to the inner ear.
The stapes is a small bone in the middle ear, which plays a role in the conduction of sound from the outside to the inner ear. Occasionally it becomes fixed due to a disease process known as otosclerosis and, therefore, can no longer conduct sound. It then has to be removed or modified. This procedure is known as a stapedectomy or stapedotomy.
The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, is located deep within the ear canal. It can sometimes develop a hole in it, known as a tympanic membrane perforation. Causes of tympanic membrane perforations include trauma, sometimes from objects like Q tips.