Otosclerosis is the abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear. This makes it hard for structures in the ear to work as they should. It can lead to hearing loss.
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The cause is not clear, but genetics may play a role.
This problem is more common in women. It is also more common in people who are White.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
- Having other family members with the disorder
- Viral infections, specifically measles
At first, a person may have problems hearing low-pitched sounds or whispers. Hearing loss may worsen. In time, other problems may be:
- A feeling of spinning when standing still
- Balance problems
- Ringing, roaring, or buzzing in the ear
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the ears. Hearing tests will be done.
To confirm the diagnosis, images may be taken of the ears. This can be done with:
People who have mild symptoms may be monitored for any changes.
The goal of treatment in others is to improve hearing. Options are:
- Wearing hearing aids
- Taking medicines to slow the disease, such as:
- Sodium fluoride
People who are not helped by these methods may need surgery. Options are:
The risk of this problem may be lowered by getting the measles vaccine.
- Otosclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/otosclerosis.
- Otosclerosis. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/otosclerosis.aspx.
- Quesnel AM, Ishai R, et al. Otosclerosis: temporal bone pathology. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2018;51(2):291-303.
- What you should know about otosclerosis. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/?q=node/1316.
- Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
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