What is otosclerosis?
Otosclerosis is a term derived from oto, meaning “of the ear,” and sclerosis, meaning “abnormal hardening of body tissue.” The condition is caused by abnormal bone remodeling in the middle ear. Otosclerosis is most often caused when one of the bones in the middle ear, the stapes, becomes stuck in place. When this bone is unable to vibrate, sound is unable to travel through the ear and hearing becomes impaired
What causes and symptoms of otosclerosis?
Hearing loss, the most frequently reported symptom of otosclerosis, usually starts in one ear and then moves to the other.
Both ears usually affected.
Patients usually realise they cant hear soft spoken sounds.
Some people may also experience dizziness, balance problems, or tinnitus in the ears.
Otosclerosis is diagnosed using tests including:
- Hearing tests – Pure Tone Audiometry. A person with otosclerosis typically has a hearing loss that affects all frequencies (pitches). The hearing loss may be conductive or mixed in nature. A conductive hearing loss is caused by a problem in the middle or outer parts of the ear. A mixed loss combines a conductive hearing loss with a hearing loss that results from damage to the inner ear.
An Impedance Audiometry hearing test confirms the Ossicular fixation of Stapes. HRCT scan – to check for damage to the cochlear nerve and labyrinth
Currently, there is no effective drug treatment for otosclerosis, although Sodium Fluoride has been tried.
Surgery is often required. In a procedure known as a stapedectomy, a surgeon inserts a prosthetic device into the middle ear to bypass the abnormal bone and permit sound waves to travel to the inner ear and restore hearing.
It must be noted that the procedure done thesedays is Stapedotomy instead of Stapedectomy which is a modification of the original surgery.
Post Surgery Care:
After surgery, it is important to protect the structures within the ear from infection, pressure and noise to reduce the risk of complications.
Avoid blowing your nose
- Treat cold, cough etc immediately.
- Avoid changes in air pressure (air travel or scuba diving)
- Avoid loud noises