DefinitionOtosclerosis occurs when abnormal new bone forms in the inner ear. This growth prevents proper functioning of other ear structures. This condition is a common cause of hearing loss.
|The Inner Ear|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesThe cause of otosclerosis is still unknown, but genetics appears to play a role.
Risk FactorsOtosclerosis is more common in Caucasians, Asians, females, and in people in their teens through late 40s. Other factors that increase chance of otosclerosis include:
- Family history of otosclerosis
- Drinking nonfluoridated water—some studies suggest that nonfluoridated water may cause a susceptible person to develop otosclerosis
- Hormonal factors, such as pregnancy
- Viral infections, including measles
SymptomsGradual hearing loss is the main symptom of otosclerosis. Hearing loss may be of two types:
- Conductive—involving the small bones of the inner ear
- Sensorineural—involving the cochlea, which is the sensory organ in the inner ear
- A sensation of spinning
- Balance problems
- A sensation of ringing, roaring, or buzzing in the ear
DiagnosisThe doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Your ears may be tested. This can be done with a hearing test.Images may be taken of your ear. This can be done with:
More from Beliefnet
Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.
Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations