Improve Your Hearing with Otosclerosis Treatment
Many patients suffer from unexplained hearing loss or ringing in their ears for years, which can significantly impact their quality of life. If you are experiencing these symptoms, they may be attributable to a treatable condition called otosclerosis. The team of extensively trained professionals at Chesapeake Ear Nose & Throat in Baltimore, MD, can properly diagnosis your condition and provide both surgical and non-surgical otosclerosis treatment to restore your hearing.
A Closer Look at the Condition
The malleus, the incus, and the stapes are all tiny bones that make up your middle and inner ear. Typically, these bones are slightly flexible, allowing for the transmission of sound from the eardrum to the inner ear. Otosclerosis is a condition in which these bones become fused together in an immovable cluster. When this occurs, sound transmission is negatively affected.
Symptoms and Causes of Otosclerosis
The primary symptom experienced by those with otosclerosis is gradual hearing loss. This process can begin at any point between 15 and 45 years of age, although it most commonly become apparent during the early 20s. When it becomes noticeable, many people realize they are unable to hear whispers or low-pitched sounds. This can progress into other symptoms, such as imbalance or dizziness. This condition is often associated with roaring, buzzing, hissing, or ringing in the ears.
With a team of audiology specialists and otolaryngologists on staff, we work together to provide comprehensive care to our patients.
Doctors know that otosclerosis occurs when the bones inside the ear become immobile. But what causes this in the first place? The short answer is: we do not know for sure. However, experts believe that it could be the result of:
- A stress fracture in the bone tissue around the inner ear
- A previous measles infection
- Immune system disorders
In about 60 percent of cases, genetics seem to play a role in the development of the condition.
Otosclerosis is typically diagnosed by those who specialize in ear health, such as an audiologist, an otologist, or an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT). First, other illnesses and disorders must be ruled out, as there are conditions which can cause similar symptoms. Next, the patient will undergo a hearing test, called an audiogram. A tympanogram will also be performed to measure middle ear sound conduction. Your doctor may also utilize digital diagnostic imaging, such as a CT scan, to diagnose otosclerosis.
If otosclerosis is mild, it does not have to be treated. However, it is recommended that you undergo an annual hearing test to monitor your condition. If the disease worsens or progresses, there are two common approaches to treatment:
- Hearing aids: Most conditions that reduce the conduction of sound can be improved with hearing aids.
- Surgical intervention: In some cases, a stapedectomy is recommended. During this procedure, a surgeon removes part or all of the stapes bone, and then replaces it with a prosthetic device. This will allow the bones inside the ear to resume proper movement, therefore improving hearing.
Some patients have also tried sodium fluoride, a dietary supplement. In much the same way that fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, it is believed to be beneficial for the bones of the middle and inner ear. This treatment is not widely accepted, although some patients do experience an improvement in their symptoms.
Why Choose Us?
Chesapeake Ear Nose & Throat has been serving our community for over 25 years. Our doctors are highly qualified to treat otosclerosis. With a team of audiology specialists and otolaryngologists on staff, we work together to provide comprehensive care to our patients.
Restore Your Quality of Life
If you are experiencing symptoms of otosclerosis, schedule a consultation with one of our skilled and knowledgeable doctors. You can contact us online anytime, or call our office at (410) 391-1118.