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  • What is Otosclerosis

    Otosclerosis is a condition characterized by abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, specifically affecting the stapes bone. The stapes bone plays a crucial role in transmitting sound vibrations from the middle ear to the inner ear.


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    <p>Dr. Jane Lea, MD, FRCSC, Otologist/Neurotologist, Paediatric <a href="">Otolaryngologist,</a> discusses Otosclerosis and Treatment With Surgery</p>

    Dr. Jane Lea, MD, FRCSC, Otologist/Neurotologist, Paediatric Otolaryngologist, discusses Otosclerosis and Treatment With Surgery

  • Otosclerosis and Treatment With Surgery

    The condition you are referring to is known as otosclerosis. Otosclerosis is a hereditary condition characterized by abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, particularly around the stapes bone, which is one of the three tiny bones (ossicles) responsible for transmitting sound vibrations from the outer ear to the inner ear.

    When the stapes bone becomes fixed or stuck due to the abnormal bone growth, it cannot vibrate properly and transmit sound waves into the cochlea, the organ of hearing in the inner ear. This results in a conductive hearing loss, where sound is not efficiently transmitted to the cochlea.

    While otosclerosis is hereditary, it does not necessarily mean that everyone with the condition has a family history of it. Sometimes, individuals may develop otosclerosis due to spontaneous genetic mutations or other factors. Additionally, not all individuals with otosclerosis experience noticeable symptoms. Some people may have the condition but remain asymptomatic, meaning they do not exhibit any signs of hearing loss or other related issues.

    Common symptoms of otosclerosis include gradual hearing loss, usually starting with difficulty hearing low-frequency sounds and progressing to higher frequencies over time. Some individuals may also experience tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears) or dizziness.

    If you suspect you have otosclerosis or are experiencing hearing loss, it is essential to consult with an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) or an audiologist. They can evaluate your symptoms, conduct tests, and provide appropriate treatment options, which may include hearing aids or surgical interventions such as a stapedectomy to replace the fixed stapes bone with an artificial one.


    The surgery itself involves removing that third ear bone and putting a little prosthesis in, which then makes the ear bones mobile again. When patients have otosclerosis, actually, the only symptom they’ll have is hearing loss. They won’t have any other ear symptoms at all. Sometimes, they can have a ringing in the ear or tinnitus, but otherwise, they have no other symptoms.

    When their doctor or their family physician examines them, their eardrum looks completely normal. The only way we can tell is by doing a special hearing test with an audiologist, and we can typically pick up that type of hearing loss.

    If you have otosclerosis, there are risks involved with performing the surgery. The most concerning one we worry about is having a complete loss of hearing or loss of balance on that side. Although it’s rare, it has been reported to happen in less than one or two percent of cases. It’s something that you do need to talk to your local physician about.

    Hearing aids are a common and effective solution for managing hearing loss. Many individuals with hearing loss find that using a hearing aid greatly improves their ability to communicate and interact with others, reducing feelings of isolation.

    Hearing aids work by amplifying sounds and making them easier to hear for individuals with hearing loss. They come in various styles and sizes, and modern hearing aids often incorporate advanced technology to provide clearer sound and better adapt to different listening environments. Some hearing aids can even connect wirelessly to other devices, such as smartphones or televisions, for a more personalized listening experience.

    While there are cases where surgery may be recommended, such as for specific types of hearing loss or structural abnormalities in the ear, the majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids without the need for surgical intervention. Hearing aids are typically customized to each individual's hearing needs and can significantly improve their quality of life by enhancing their ability to communicate and engage with their surroundings.

    It's important for individuals experiencing hearing loss to consult with a hearing healthcare professional, such as an audiologist or an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist), who can assess their specific condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment options, which may include hearing aids.And, if you do think you have a hearing loss, you should consult your local audiologist or physician.   Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.

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