DESCRIPTIONOtosclerosis is the slow formation of abnormal spongy bone growth in the middle ear. The growth prevents one of the small bones in the middle ear from vibrating sound waves, leading to hearing loss. The middle-ear bones and the nerves in the ear that allow us to hear are involved. Otosclerosis usually affects both ears. Otosclerosis is twice as likely to affect females as males and occurs most commonly from ages 15 to 30.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Surgery to remove the stapes (a bone in the middle ear).
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSSlow, progressive hearing loss.
Ringing in the ears.
Hearing that is better in noisy environments than quiet ones.
Inherited. This is a dominant genetic trait.
RISK FACTORSFamily history of hearing loss.
Caucasian heritage. Otosclerosis affects to some degree about 10% of all white people.
Pregnancy, which may trigger the onset.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCECannot be prevented at present. Obtain genetic counseling before starting a family if you or your spouse have otosclerosis.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies such as audiogram and Rinne test (See Glossary).
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSTotal deafness in 10 to 15 years without treatment. The younger the patient, the more rapid the hearing loss.
In most cases, your child's hearing can be at least partially restored with surgery.
HOME CAREInstructions for your child to prevent complications after surgery:
Don't blow your nose for 1 week.
Avoid unnecessary contact with persons who have a respiratory infection, such as a cold, flu, or bronchitis.
Protect your ears against cold.
Avoid activities that might cause dizziness, such as bending, lifting, or straining.
Avoid loud noises and sudden pressure changes (flying or scuba diving) for 6 months or until healing is complete.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe antibiotics after surgery.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
After surgery, your child can resume normal activities gradually.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of otosclerosis.
Signs of infection, such as fever, pain, or excessive dizziness, develop after treatment.