Otosclerosis is an abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear that causes hearing loss. It typically begins in the early 20s, and is the leading cause of middle ear hearing loss in young adults. Some notice their hearing loss symptoms at a young age, while others may not notice the hearing loss affecting their lives until their 40’s or later.
What Causes Otosclerosis?
The exact cause of otosclerosis is not known, but evidence suggests a genetic link passed down from parent to child. Middle-aged Caucasian women are most at risk, and hormonal changes seem to be a contributing factor including pregnancy and menopause. This bone growth usually occurs around the stapes bone in the middle ear, preventing it from moving freely. The stapes bone is one of three middle ear bones responsible for transmitting sound from the ear drum—across the middle ear cavity—to the inner ear. When the appropriate function is disrupted, hearing loss can result.
What Are the Symptoms of Otosclerosis?
Gradually worsening hearing loss is the primary symptom of otosclerosis. It may begin with an inability to hear low-pitched sounds or whispers. Other symptoms may include vertigo or dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
How is Otosclerosis Treated?
Because the symptoms of otosclerosis are like many other ear conditions,
so a thorough examination by an otolaryngologist is essential in ruling out other problems and diagnosing the disease. A hearing test is always required and will usually show signs of conductive hearing loss.
Mild cases of otosclerosis can be corrected with a hearing aid designed to amplify sounds. In more advanced cases, a surgical procedure known as a stapedectomy is often recommended. In this surgery, part or all of the affected stapes bone is removed and replaced with a prosthetic device that enables the bones of the middle ear to resume movement, allowing sound waves to reach the inner ear, improving or restoring hearing.
Whether Call DeFatta ENT & Allergy at (715) 828-2368 for more information or to schedule an appointment.