Otosclerosis is a common cause of hearing impairment.
Hearing loss is the primary sign of otosclerosis. In the preliminary stages, the individuals suffer from partial hear loss which gets worse over time and results in complete deafness. In addition to it, the condition presents itself with the following signs and symptoms:
A normal examination of the ear using auriscope would usually not show any abnormalities. Individuals should therefore visit an ENT specialist to get a differential diagnosis done. Specialized instruments such as tympanometer would help to evaluate the movement of the bones inside the middle ear. This is usually a painless procedure and yields quick results.
In certain conditions, imaging studies of the head may also be required, such as temporal bone computed tomography . Temporal bone computed tomography can further be enhance with the use of 18F-fluoride positron emission tomography to elucidate bone metabolism of the inner ear . The relative hypodensity in otosclerosis of the round window during CT scan can help surgeons in counselling and in deciding whether to proceed for surgical stapedectomy .
In the preliminary stages, the hearing loss is mild and does not require any treatment. However, over a time of time, the condition can worsen and individuals are then immediately put on treatment. The following are the several methods employed for treating otosclerosis:
If prompt treatment is not initiated then the condition may worsen over a period. Individuals can suffer from total deafness for the rest of the life. Surgical procedures can be carried out to restore the hearing function to certain extent; but may not always be successful.
Possible complications of otosclerosis include the following conditions:
The exact cause that triggers such an abnormal bone remodeling mechanism is unknown. However, there have been some pieces of evidence suggesting that otosclerosis is an inherited condition and can be passed from one generation to other. In otosclerosis the bone remodeling function is disrupted as a result of which the sound waves are unable to travel to the inner ear from the middle ear. Such a condition causes hearing loss.
Some other theories point towards the fact that otosclerosis develops as a result of measles virus. The exact theory states that individuals may be born with certain kind of genetic defect and a viral infection may further trigger the onset of the disorder. In addition to this, low levels of fluoride can also have some kind of link with development of otosclerosis.
Otosclerosis is a common condition affecting about 3 million Americans. Women are more prone to contract this condition than males. This condition is often diagnosed in mid adulthood and is a common cause of hearing loss amongst the young adult population. It has also been estimated that Caucasians are more affected by this disease condition than individuals of other regions.
Under normal conditions, for individuals to be able to hear, sound waves must travel from the middle ear to the inner ear. Such sequence of events does not take place in otosclerosis due to an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear.
Bone remodeling is an ongoing process wherein the bone tissues are periodically renewed by replacing the old with new. However, due to abnormal remodeling such an activity does not take place and the sound waves are unable to travel to the inner ear. There is an observable fixation of stapes ossicle to the oval window causing a disruption in the sound transmission . Otosclerosis can affect one or both ears.
It is not possible to prevent otosclerosis. It is a genetic defect that occurs spontaneously thus making it difficult to prevent the development of such a disease condition. However, there have been small pieces of evidence suggesting fluoride tablets and measles vaccination as preventive measures against otosclerosis. There is still dearth of information in this regard, and more research needs to be carried out.
Otosclerosis is a condition characterized by abnormal development of bone in the middle ear. Such a condition can contribute to hearing loss and other associated abnormalities. It is a serious condition demanding prompt diagnosis. Otosclerosis develops due to abnormal remodeling of the bone. Such an event interrupts the travelling of the sound waves from the middle ear to inner ear contributing to hearing loss. It is not an uncommon condition and affects millions of individuals across the globe.
The exact cause that triggers the development of otosclerosis is unknown. However heredity and genetic factors are known to play foul. Researchers also believe that measles virus and low fluoride can also cause otosclerosis.
Diagnosis of otosclerosis is done using specialized instruments that can measure the activity of the bone inside the middle ear. Individuals need to consult an ENT specialist for appropriate diagnosis of the condition. In addition to this, CT scan of the head may also be required.
Individuals with mild hear loss do not usually require any treatment. Those with moderate hear loss require hearing aids to deal with the problem. However, in severe cases, hearing aids are of no help and surgical procedures are the only resort.