Otosclerosis is a condition where an abnormal, sponge-like bone grows in the middle ear. This growth prevents the small bones inside the ear from operating properly, which can result in hearing loss. Untreated, this condition can progress and lead to more significant hearing loss.
Symptoms of Otosclerosis
The abnormal growth in the middle ear affects the ability of the inner ear to receive sound waves. Hearing loss is usually progressive over time, and can actually occur in both ears. Sudden changes in overall hearing are unlikely to occur in otosclerosis.
There may be no intervention needed if the condition of otosclerosis is mild, or in its early stages. Hearing aids can be very helpful if the hearing loss is affecting you negatively or impacting your quality of life.
Since otosclerosis is a progressive condition, surgery may eventually be necessary, especially if hearing loss becomes significant. If so, a microsurgical procedure called a stapedectomy may be recommended to restore the patient’s hearing. During a stapedectomy, a small portion of the stapes bone is removed, and a titanium prosthesis is put in its place. The procedure is performed through the ear canal and takes less than 90 minutes to complete. General or local anesthesia is used, and hearing loss is usually permanently and immediately improved upon completion.