Otosclerosis

Otosclerosis is a condition which produces a gradual hearing loss in one or both ears. It is often associated with ringing in the ears (tinnitus). It tends to run in families, is more common in females, and generally occurs between the ages of 15 and 35. It is the most common cause of hearing loss in young adults.

In this condition, an abnormal bone growth occurs at the entrance of the middle ear. This may cause one of the middle ear bones (the stirrup) to become immobile. When this happens, the vibrations from the ear drum cannot be conducted to the middle ear and translated into sound.

DIAGNOSIS

Your caregiver can diagnose this problem by taking a history and conducting hearing tests.

TREATMENT

This condition can often be treated with a surgical procedure called a stapedectomy. In this procedure the stapes is removed and replaced with a tiny wire or stainless steel prosthesis. This is usually healed within a couple weeks. Risks can be discussed with your caregiver and should be considered before having the procedure. Stapedectomy will not help if there is other damage to the middle ear.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Allergies.

  • Medications taken including herbs, eye drops, over the counter medications, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medications.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.

  • History of blood clots (thrombophlebitis).

  • History of bleeding or blood problems.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

You should be present 60 minutes prior to your procedure or as directed.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You may have temporary dizziness for a couple hours following the surgery.

  • Occasionally blood clots may form which will block your hearing. These usually go away (resolve) without treatment within 2 weeks.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • There is increasing pain in the ear.

  • Pus, blood, or unusual drainage is coming from your ear.

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops.

  • Foul smelling drainage is coming from your ear.