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Otosclerosis: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Several disorders can affect hearing in a person, including otosclerosis, an essential condition that must be resolved, although not as familiar as other disorders. In this disease, the middle ear structures are involved, mainly the stapes and the oval window, in which some of them may present an abnormal or excessive growth, so their functions of transmitting sounds are deficient.

Anyone can suffer otosclerosis regardless of age, but it becomes more common in women between 15 and 45. It is a progressive disease that can affect only one or both ears, increasingly decreasing the ability to hear. However, there are ways to treat it, mainly if it is attended to on time. For this reason, at FastlyHealwe want to inform you all about otosclerosis: symptoms and treatment.

Main symptoms of otosclerosis

Being a little-known ear disease, it is possible to believe that it is another pathology and that the effect will pass over time; however, in this case, it is not, since it is a progressive disease. Therefore, it is essential to note the symptoms that could be indicating otosclerosis, highlighting:

  • Hearing loss or deafness is the partial loss of hearing. It can start in one ear and then affect the other, being frequent a gradual loss, for example, not listening when they speak low or in whispers, which is why they usually do not give importance to it initially.
  • Tinnitus, or tinnitus, is a condition in which a sound is heard in the ears or head but does not exist. It tends to be compared to a buzzing, clicking, noise, or hiss and is often accompanied by hearing impairment, although it can occur independently.
  • Paracusis occurs when there is confusion in the capture of sounds without being able to correctly define where a sound comes from, its tone, or its intensity.
  • Balance problems, especially when there is already significant damage to the inner ear, are a symptom of normal incidence.
  • Dizziness or vertigo.
  • Earache is not always present and can be of variable intensity.
  • Otorrhea, a liquid, comes out through the outer ear. However, this symptom is infrequent.

Otosclerosis: causes

It is known that otosclerosis occurs due to the excessive growth of a part of the bone of the middle ear, either the stapes or the oval window; in any case, the functioning of other structures of the ear is affected since it prevents the stapes from moving or vibrate to transmit sound through the inner ear. However, it is unknown why this alteration originates, but more than 50% of cases have been associated with genetic inheritance; they had a family history of this disease and possibly be transmitted with genes.

As for the rest of the cases, although it is not considered with certainty, there are a series of factors that could be related to the development of otosclerosis; some of them are:

  • Viral infection, mainly the one that causes measles. Although it is unknown how it could affect the inner ear bone, several studies have detected remnants of the components of this virus in the bone with excessive growth.
  • Although it has not been proven, the hormonal alteration is considered that taking contraceptive pills, following some treatment with hormones, or suffering from endocrine diseases can increase the probability of developing otosclerosis. This relationship is made because several cases of this disease have been present during or shortly after pregnancy, for which hormonal change could be involved.
  • Fracture of the bone tissue surrounding the inner ear; later, when replacing or healing the damage, the tissue of the middle ear bone can grow more than usual.
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as autoimmune disease of the inner ear. Attack by the body’s defense cells on the healthy tissue can cause inflammation in the area and disrupt bone formation.

Treatment to combat otosclerosis

The specialist performs a series of tests to rule out other conditions that usually develop in the inner ear and may present similar symptoms to diagnose otosclerosis correctly. These tests may include audiometry, which measures the level of hearing by exposing them to various sounds of different frequencies, and impedance, which uses a device to determine if the eardrum and other bones are moving correctly by applying a light change in air pressure in the ear. It is also possible to use a CT scan to obtain an accurate area image.

Regarding the treatment for otosclerosis, there is no way to combat it with drugs, so if it is a mild case, the doctor might recommend the use of hearing aids for deafness, but this does not solve the problem; all it does is amplify the sound externally and must be modified according to the progress of the disease, as it continues to advance.

The best way to cure otosclerosis is through surgical intervention; However, this does not always ensure a total hearing recovery. Therefore it is necessary to resolve any doubts with the specialist and fully explain the possible risks, including facial paralysis, although its incidence is low. You can use a procedure called stapedotomy. A fragment of the stapes that has grown abnormally is removed, and a small prosthesis is inserted, or a stapedectomy, in which the stapes is completely removed and a small prosthesis is placed in its place. Prosthesis, in any case, the objective is to improve hearing and make the other symptoms disappear.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Otosclerosis: symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Ear, Nose and Throat category .

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