September 13, 2011

Spotlight: Otosclerosis

What is otosclerosis?
Otosclerosis is a bone disorder that affects the ear. It is the most common cause of conductive hearing loss in adults.

How does otosclerosis cause hearing loss?
Otosclerosis causes stiffening of the stirrup bone (stapes) so that it does not move properly. In some circumstances, otosclerosis may cause damage to the inner ear, leading to nerve-related hearing loss.

What are the symptoms of otosclerosis?
Hearing loss is the most common symptom associated with otosclerosis. Additionally, some patients may experience tinnitus (head noise or ringing in the ears) and rarely, dizziness.

What treatments are available for otosclerosis?
Depending upon the severity of symptoms and the precise nature of the hearing loss, patients with otosclerosis may elect observation (no treatment), use of a hearing aid, or a surgical procedure to improve the hearing (stapedectomy/stapedotomy).

What is involved in a stapedectomy/stapedomoty procedure?
This outpatient procedure involves lifting up the eardrum and removing a portion of the stirrup bone. A prosthetic ear bone is used to reconnect the hearing mechanism and bypass the area of fixation.

The information and reference materials included on this website are intended solely for the general information and education purposes of the reader. They are not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or to diagnose health problems. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to discuss the information presented here.


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