Otosclerosis is a condition that affects the middle ear. It is characterized by the formation of abnormal bone on the stapes, a small bone that helps to transmit sound waves from the eardrum to the inner ear. This can cause a conductive hearing loss, which means that sound waves are not able to travel as easily through the middle ear.
What is the main cause of otosclerosis?
The exact cause of otosclerosis is unknown, but it is thought to be a genetic disorder. It is more common in women than men, and it is often seen in families with a history of the condition.
What symptoms do people with otosclerosis have?
The most common symptom of otosclerosis is hearing loss. This hearing loss is usually gradual and progressive, and it is often worse in the high-pitched frequencies. Other symptoms of otosclerosis may include tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and ear pressure.
What are otosclerosis symptoms and treatment?
There are two main treatments for otosclerosis: hearing aids and surgery. Hearing aids can help to amplify sound waves and make them easier to hear. Surgery, called stapedectomy, is a procedure to remove the stapes and replace it with a prosthetic device. Stapedectomy is usually successful in improving hearing, but it is not without risks.
What happens when you have otosclerosis?
If you have otosclerosis, it is important to see an audiologist for regular hearing tests. This will help to monitor your hearing loss and make sure that you are getting the best possible treatment.
In addition to hearing loss, otosclerosis can also lead to other problems, such as:
- Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
- Problems understanding speech
- Difficulty concentrating
If you are experiencing any of these problems, it is important to see an audiologist or otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) for evaluation.
There is no way to prevent otosclerosis, but there are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing the condition. These include:
- Getting regular hearing tests
- Avoiding loud noise exposure
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
If you have any concerns about otosclerosis, please talk to an audiologist.