Otosclerosis is a condition that affects the bones in the middle ear. It most commonly affects the stapes bone, which is involved in hearing.
Otosclerosis affects the bones in the middle ear. The bones that are affected are the tiny bones (ossicles) that transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. This condition can cause progressive hearing loss that can become severe.
Otosclerosis happens due to an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear. This bone growth can cause the bones to fuse together, which can interfere with the transmission of sound. It most often affects the stapes (stirrup-shaped) bone.
Otosclerosis can be hereditary, meaning it can be passed down from one’s parents. In most cases, the condition develops slowly and affects both ears.
Prevention of otosclerosis is generally not possible, unlike other hearing disorders. Furthermore, there is no cure for otosclerosis, but there are treatments that can help improve patients’ hearing.
Otosclerosis is the most common cause of hearing loss in adults. It can affect one or both ears. It has a slow start but gets worse over time.
The primary otosclerosis cause is not very clear. It is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As a condition, it tends to run in families.
Otosclerosis disease can cause hearing loss in two ways. First, abnormal bone growth can cause the tiny bones in the middle ear (ossicles) to fuse. This prevents the ossicles from vibrating properly.
Second, abnormal bone growth can limit the movement of the stapes bone in the middle ear, limiting the sound vibrations that reach the inner ear.
While otosclerosis can run in families, it can also occur in people with no family history of the disease.
The symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people have no symptoms at all. For others, the first symptom may be a slight hearing loss that worsens over time. Some patients may also develop balancing problems.
Other otosclerosis symptoms can include:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Ear pain
- Fullness in the ears
Otosclerosis can be diagnosed in skm everal ways by an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist.
Otosclerosis diagnosis includes a hearing test, which can show if a problem with the bones in the middle ear is causing hearing issues.
The hearing test generally consists of an audiogram and a tympanogram. In addition to the hearing test, the doctor may request a CT scan to get better visuals of the ear bones and tissue.
It is highly recommended for patients suspecting they have otosclerosis to see an audiologist or other hearing healthcare professionals for regular hearing tests and to discuss treatment options.
Several otosclerosis treatment options are available. Surgery is the most common and effective treatment and can often improve hearing significantly. Other options include hearing aids, sound-masking devices, and cochlear implants.
The goal of otosclerosis surgery is to remove the bone growths that are causing hearing loss. This can be done through several different procedures, including stapedectomy, which is the most common.
In this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the eardrum and removes the stapes bone. This allows the vibrations from the middle ear to be transmitted more efficiently to the inner ear.
Other otosclerosis treatment options include laser stapedotomy, middle ear implantation, and cochlear implantation.
Hearing aids can also be helpful for people with otosclerosis, as they can amplify sound and make it easier to hear. Sound-masking devices can also help reduce noise exposure and protect hearing.
Otosclerosis disease is a deliberating condition that is almost unpreventable. Knowing the risk factors can help people get diagnosed earlier and ensure better treatment.
There are several risk factors associated with otosclerosis, including family history, age, gender, and ethnicity.
- Family history: Patients who have a family member with otosclerosis are more likely to develop the condition.
- Age: Otosclerosis usually begins in adulthood. The condition is more likely to develop in the late 40s.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop this condition than men.
- Ethnicity: Otosclerosis is more common in Caucasians than in other ethnic groups.
Patients with these risk factors should talk to their doctor about their risk of developing otosclerosis.
Otosclerosis is a type of hearing loss that is caused by the stiffening of the bones in the middle ear. It can cause conductive hearing loss, as well as sensorineural hearing loss.
While there are many different causes of otosclerosis, the most common cause is a genetic predisposition. Treatment for otosclerosis typically involves surgically removing the affected bone and replacing it with a prosthetic.
The ENT department at the CK Birla Hospital is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to offer comprehensive treatment for ear, nose, and throat disorders. We have a team of ENT specialists trained to diagnose, treat and counsel patients with ENT issues.
Visit your nearest CK Birla Hospital or book an appointment with Dr Vijay Verma to facilitate an informed diagnosis and treatment for otosclerosis.