Introduction to Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is the most common cause of progressive deafness in young adults. It involves an abnormal growth of bone around one of the tiny ear bones, called the stapes, resulting in its fixation.
What is Otosclerosis?
Otosclerosis is the most common cause of progressive deafness in young adults. The condition involves an abnormal growth of bone around one of the tiny bones in the ear, called the stapes, resulting in its fixation. In turn, this prevents sound from being transmitted to the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with otosclerosis, see an ENT specialist, or a GP, who will examine your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan.
What are the causes for Otosclerosis?
Sound is usually transmitted into the ear canal and towards the 3 small bones (ossicles) in the middle ear. The last of these bones is known as the stapes. In otosclerosis, a small amount of bone grows on this bone, preventing it from moving and thus preventing it from transmitting sound into the inner ear. The majority of cases are thought to involve a genetic predisposition to the condition. On top of this, a trigger, such as measles infection, is thought to initiate the condition.
What are the symptoms of Otosclerosis?
Hearing loss develops very gradually in otosclerosis. In addition to hearing loss, you may experience a buzzing or ringing in the ear, known as tinnitus. Furthermore, you may experience dizziness.
How is Otosclerosis treated?
The optimum treatment strategy depends on the severity of your symptoms. In mild hearing loss, the most appropriate option may be to use a hearing aid to amplify sound, and monitor hearing loss regularly. If the condition is more serious, surgery may be considered. This procedure, known as a ‘stapedectomy,’ is carried out under local or general anaesthesia and involves the surgeon accessing the stapes bone through the ear canal, removing it and replacing it with a prosthetic device.