When there is abnormal growth of the bone of the middle ear, otosclerosis is said to occur. This disease of ear bone degeneration is usually noticed during early adult years. The bones of the ear turn into spongy bone tissue and lead to excessive buildup of bone tissue. This impairs the hearing process since there is a barrier to sound being conducted to the inner ear. The bones are then unable to vibrate and pass the sound into the inner ear. Usually the outer and middle ear are affected, leading to conductive hearing loss. Nerves of the ears may also get affected, leading to senso-neural hearing loss. Otosclerosis is noticed to occur in persons with family history of hearing loss. Hearing may be impaired in one or both ears. This condition affects nearly 10% of the American population. Pregnancy is known to trigger this condition in some women.
One of the most common symptoms of otosclerosis is tinnitus (noise originating inside the ear). Hearing loss may be gradual, which is why this condition is not often diagnosed at the early stage. Other accompanying symptoms are dizziness and balance problems. In many cases, persons suffering from otosclerosis are not even aware of their condition and do not seek medical help. An otologist (ear physician) will need to conduct a physical examination and study the history of hearing loss This condition can be diagnosed with the help of audiometric examination and special x-rays. A CT scan of the temporal bone can help in ruling out other causes of hearing loss. The hearing and balance functions will be assessed with various tests and procedures. Audiometry, tympanometry and tuning fork tests are conducted to test the extent of hearing loss.
A hearing aid is used to treat this condition when the hearing loss is mild. You can take the help of an audiologist to choose the one that fits your specific needs best. Doses of oral sodium fluoride are known to improve otosclerosis. Sodium fluoride aids calcification of new bone and checks further otoscelerotic damage. Fluoride medication along with calcium and Vitamin D are prescribed. A surgical procedure known as stapedectomy is performed to replace the fixed stapes bone in the ear with a prosthesis. This device allows sounds waves to pass to the inner ear. The stapes bone is either completely or partially removed. The laser stapedectomy surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia and is an outpatient procedure. Only one year is operated at a time. In most of the cases, stapedectomy benefits the patient suffering from otosclerosis. After surgery, a patient must avoid loud noises and sudden changes in pressure for a few weeks. Rarely are there complications with this surgery leading to total deafness or formation of blood clots in the ear.
Tinnitus is derived from Latin word 'to ring and medically means 'ringing in the ears'. One out of every five people in the world is affected by this condition and nearly 33% of senior people living throughout the world suffer from tinnitus.
Continuous exposure to loud and deafening noise can lead to tinnitus. At times a small plug of wax in the ear canal can lead to temporary tinnitus. Otosclerosis, stiffening of bones in the middle ear can also cause tinnitus. Tumor in the middle ear is another cause for tinnitus. Those suffering high or low blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disorders or injury to head or neck might notice symptoms of tinnitus.
A person suffering this disorder is likely to hear noises that others cant. This noise is most often of buzzing or ringing nature. Other tinnitus symptoms include ear pain and headache. Dizziness and hearing loss might result. Consult an otolaryngologist who can determine the right type of treatment for the condition.
Improve your circulation with daily exercise. Reduce excessive salt in the diet. Keep away from tobacco, tea, cola, coffee and other stimulants. Keep your blood pressure under check. Stay away from loud noises and sounds.
Concentration and relaxation exercise can help gain control over the muscles and blood circulation in the body. Hearing aids help reduce the head noise and aid in hearing too. Set the right volume to prevent worsening the condition.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 3, 2023