Table of contents:
- Causes of Otosclerosis
- Symptoms of Otosclerosis
- Diagnosis of Otosclerosis
- Otosclerosis Treatment
- Complications of Otosclerosis
- Prevention of Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is the hardening or abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear. This condition can cause hearing loss, ranging from mild to severe
The middle ear, which is behind the eardrum, has several small bones, namely the malleus, incus, and stapes. Under normal conditions, these bones will vibrate when sound waves enter the ear, and transmit the sound to the inner ear. That way, voices can be heard.
In otosclerosis, the bones in the middle ear experience abnormal growth or hardening so that they become stiff and unable to vibrate. This condition causes sound waves to not enter the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss.
Causes of Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis occurs due to abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, most commonly the stapes bone. It is not known exactly why the bone grows. However, there are a number of factors that can increase the risk of this condition, namely:
- 20–30 years old
- Has a family history of otosclerosis
- Suffered from measles
- Injury to the bone of the inner ear
- Has a weak immune system
Symptoms of Otosclerosis
The main symptom of otosclerosis is hearing loss, which can occur in one or both ears. These symptoms initially make the sufferer unable to hear low-pitched sounds, such as whispers, then these symptoms will worsen over time.
In addition to hearing loss, otosclerosis can also cause other symptoms, such as:
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Balance disturbance
When to see a doctor
The symptoms of otosclerosis are difficult to distinguish from the symptoms of other ear disorders. Therefore, check with your doctor if you experience the complaints mentioned above. Through a medical examination, the doctor can determine the cause of the condition.
Diagnosis of Otosclerosis
To diagnose otosclerosis, the doctor will ask questions related to the symptoms experienced by the patient, as well as the medical history of the patient and his family. Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination of the patient's ear.
After that, the doctor can perform several supporting examinations to establish a diagnosis, such as:
- Audiometric test, to find out how well the patient's hearing function, by measuring the range of audible tones
- Tympanometry test, to find out how well the eardrum is functioning
- CT scan, to see the condition of the bones and tissues in the ear more clearly, and detect if there are abnormalities in the ear
Otosclerosis treatment aims to improve hearing loss and prevent it from getting worse. The doctor will adjust the method of treating otosclerosis according to the severity of the disease.
Some of these treatment methods are:
Use of hearing aids
Doctors can advise the use of hearing aids in patients with mild hearing loss.
Stapedectomy is performed on patients with severe hearing loss. In this surgery, the doctor will remove the stapes bone and replace it with a prosthesis (artificial stapes bone). The goal is for sound waves to enter the inner ear so that hearing is better.
Cochlear implant surgery
Cochlear implants are performed if otosclerosis causes damage to cells in the inner ear and cannot be treated with stapedectomy.
In this operation, the doctor will install a special electronic device in the ear that can pick up sound and stimulate the inner ear's nerve structure that goes to the brain.
Complications of Otosclerosis
Although rare, otosclerosis can cause total deafness. This condition makes the ear cannot hear sound at all. As a result, sufferers will experience a decrease in quality of life, such as:
- Opportunity to work less
- Difficulty communicating with other people
- Lost self-confidence
Prevention of Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis cannot be prevented, because the cause is not known for certain. In addition, a number of factors that can increase the risk of otosclerosis are also difficult to prevent, especially heredity. Therefore, premarital counseling is recommended for couples who have a family history of otosclerosis.