D. Richard Kang, M.D., Otolaryngologist
In the ear, the way you hear is the sound comes in gathered by the ear, vibrates the eardrum, then vibrates the bones and gets into the inner ear, the cochlear, and that’s how you hear. So in Otosclerosis the bones, most times the last bone, called stapes or stirrup gets hardened. And so the sound vibration that should be transmitted doesn’t get transmitted into the inner ear so it makes it harder to hear. It’s a slow, slow progressive process.
Who does this commonly affect?
The most common occurrence occurs in middle aged women typically occurring around or associated with a pregnancy.so it seems a little more in women than men, but it can occur in a child or it can occur in older age.
How is Otosclerosis diagnosed?
So the symptoms are most typically just slowly progressive hearing loss. so it usually occurs one side at a time. Typically people come in saying you know something’s not right with my ear, I’m not hearing we do a hearing test and find out the type of hearing loss that they have.
So there are two different types of hearing loss that is potentially what is called conductive loss which is potentially reversible with surgery and depending on what has been going on, and what their risk factors are we can usually make the diagnosis of otsclerosis at that point.
How is Otosclerosis treated?
There are really two ways to treating that. One is by hearing aids so you can overcome that stiffening of the bone by making sound louder providing more energy in there by using a hearing aid and the other way is by surgery where we go in there and essentially and loosen up the bone that is fixed and replace that with a prosthesis. So those are the two ways to treat that.