Otosclerosis is a term derived from oto, meaning “of the ear,” and sclerosis, meaning “abnormal hardening of body tissue.” The condition is caused by abnormal bone remodeling in the middle ear. Bone remodeling is a lifelong process in which bone tissue renews itself by replacing old tissue with new. In otosclerosis, abnormal remodeling disrupts the ability of sound to travel from the middle ear to the inner ear. Symptoms of otosclerosis include:
• hearing loss that gets gradually worse over time
• particular difficulty hearing low, deep sounds and whispers
• speaking quietly because your voice sounds loud to you
• finding it easier to hear when there's background noise (unlike many other types of hearing loss)
• tinnitus (hearing sounds such as buzzing or humming that come from inside your body)
• dizziness – though this is rare
HOW IS OTOSCLEROSIS DIAGNOSED?
An ENT specialist will diagnose the condition and confirm. A hearing test (audiometry/audiology) may help determine the severity of hearing loss. A special imaging test of the head called a temporal-bone CT may be used to look for other causes of hearing loss.
HOW IS OTOSCLEROSIS TREATED?
The treatment will be carried out with the help of fluoride and calcium as well as Vitamin D supplements. One may also have to use a hearing aid in order to hear better. This will have to be customised as per the exact symptoms of the patient.
DID YOU KNOW?
This is an inherited disease. The primary form of hearing loss in otosclerosis is conductive hearing loss (CHL) whereby sounds reach the eardrum but are incompletely transferred via the ossicular chain in the middle ear, and thus partly fail to reach the inner ear (cochlea).