DefinitionOtosclerosis occurs when abnormal new bone forms in the inner ear. This growth prevents proper functioning of ear structures. This condition is a common cause of hearing loss.
|The Inner Ear|
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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:
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