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What Is Otosclerosis?

Otosclerosis is caused by abnormal bone growth around, and on to, the stapes, one of the tiny bones (ossicles) in your middle ear. This reduces the movement of the stapes.

As a result, the ossicles aren’t able to move and pass sound waves into the inner ear as efficiently as they used to, causing hearing a Conductive Hearing loss. Eventually, the stapes becomes fixed so it can’t move at all – this can cause severe hearing loss.

In most cases, Otosclerosis just affects the stapes. But in rare cases, the shell of the cochlea and the hair cells in it are also affected. Causing a Mixed Hearing loss (Conductive CHL and Sensori Neural SNHL)

What are the causes of Otosclerosis?

The exact reason for Otosclerosis is unknown although it does appear to run in families so could be down to a faulty Genome.

Pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy are also known to trigger or worsen the condition.

What are the treatments for Otosclerosis?

The first way to treat Otosclerosis is with a hearing aid. This doesn’t fix the problem but does overcome the hearing loss associated with it.

The second way to solve the problem is by surgery. A Stapedectomy is where an operation is used to remove the Stapes and replace the bone with an implant usually made of metal or plastic. The success rate for this operation has increased in recent years but still carries some risks.

  • losing more or all of your hearing (in about 1 in 100 cases)

  • altered sense of taste (usually temporary)

  • new or worsened tinnitus

  • vertigo(usually temporary)

  • facial weakness (very rare)


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