What is OTOSCLEROSIS?

Otosclerosis is a disease where the stapes bone becomes ‘fixed’. The ear drum is joined to the inner ear by the three hearing bones: the malleus, the incus and the stapes. When the ear drum vibrates the three bones vibrate. The stapes bone sits in a small hole in the inner ear called the oval window. It is held in place by an elastic ring a bit like a rubber band that goes around the base plate and joins it to the edges of the oval window. This elastic ring does 2 things: it seals off the inner ear stopping any fluid from escaping and because it is elastic it allows the stapes bone to vibrate. In otosclerosis that elastic ring around the base plate of the stapes turns to bone. This means that the stapes bone can no longer vibrate freely. this is what is meant by the stapes being ‘fixed’. If the stapes bone can not vibrate properly then the vibrations from the sound which has come into the ear can not get through into the inner ear as well so the patient will experience deafness. The patient will have a CONDUCTIVE DEAFNESS


What is the treatment for OTOSCLEROSIS?

There are 4 treatment options 1. Do nothing. 2. Hearing Aid. 3. Stapedectomy Operation. 4. Some sort of bone conduction aid or bone conduction operation. Unless there is a very good reason not to you are strongly advised to always try a hearing aid before a Stapedectomy operation. If you can not get on with the hearing aid then you may wish to consider a surgical option.

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