Otosclerosis is a disease of the bone tissue which can cause mixed, conductive or sensorineural hearing loss. The disease is also known as otospongiosis and can cause the bone to become spongy or vascularized. Otosclerosis happens more in women than men and it may be genetic. A small percentage of people opt to have surgery on the bones in your middle ear. Most people address the problem by getting hearing aids which typically help you hear again with good speech clarity. Lansdowne Hearing can help you get speech clarity like you were 21 years old again so contact us for a free consultation.
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Most doctors and scientists believe that otosclerosis is an inherited, an autosomal dominant disease with variable penetrance. As there is also evidence of viral influences in otosclerosis, a recent hypothesis is that otosclerosis requires a combination of a specific gene with exposure to a specific virus (for example measles) for it to be expressed and for hearing loss to occur (McGuirt et al, 1998).
Some feel that chronic measles infection in bone predisposes patients to otosclerosis. Viral materials have be found in the nucleic acid of an otosclerotic stapes footplates (Karosi et al 2008) and increased levels of antibodies to the measels virus are present in the inner ears of patient with otosclerosis (Niedermeyer et al 2007).
Diagnosis of otosclerosis is usually made by a combination of family history, progressive conductive hearing loss pattern, and exclusion of alternatives. Hearing tests may initially show a sensory pattern and later show the typical conductive loss pattern. Acoustic reflexes may eventually be absent, but early on may show the “on-off” effect. Tympanometry often shows stiffening of the ossicular chain. A CT scan of the temporal bone is specific but insensitive. It may be the only way to document otosclerosis early in the disease.
Source: American Hearing.
Ear disease information