Otosclerosis is a condition in which abnormal bone growth occurs in the middle ear. This bone growth can fuse the stapes, one of the three tiny bones in the middle ear, to the surrounding bone. This prevents the stapes from vibrating properly, which can lead to hearing loss.
Otosclerosis is the most common cause of conductive hearing loss in adults. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People with a family history of otosclerosis are more likely to develop the condition. Otosclerosis is also more common in women than in men.
The main symptom of otosclerosis is hearing loss. This hearing loss is usually gradual and progressive. Other symptoms may include:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Ear pain
There is no cure for otosclerosis, but there are treatments that can improve hearing. The most common treatment is hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify sound so that people with otosclerosis can hear better.
Another treatment option is surgery, called stapedectomy. Stapedectomy is a procedure to remove the stapes and replace it with a prosthetic stapes. Stapedectomy is a very effective surgery for improving hearing in people with otosclerosis.
If you have any concerns about otosclerosis, be sure to talk to your doctor. They can assess your hearing and recommend the best treatment option for you.