Otosclerosis is a condition where abnormal bone replaces normal bone in the ear. Most often, it causes "stiffening" of one of the ossicles, called the stapes. As the disease advances, it can also affect the labyrinth.
Hearing loss is the most common symptom of otosclerosis. Women who have this condition may report temporary worsening of their hearing during their pregnancies.
Otosclerosis may be hereditary - some patients may have family members affected by this condition as well, though not all family members will be affected to the same degree.
Environmental factors – such as viral infection, may also cause this condition.
On seeing the ENT doctor for hearing loss, you will have a hearing test done to determine the degree and pattern of hearing loss. If you have a conductive hearing loss (i.e. hearing loss pattern suggestive that it is due to stiffening of the middle ear bones) and otosclerosis is suspected, a CT scan will often be done to determine if you have this condition or not.
The aim of the treatment options would be to restore your hearing. Options include a hearing aid, stapedotomy/ stapes surgery and in cases of advanced otosclerosis, a cochlear implant may need to be considered.
The most commonly done surgery for otosclerosis would be stapedotomy / stapes surgery. The aim of the surgery is to "free" the stiffened stapes bone and replace it with a prosthesis so as to restore the conduction of sound energy from the ossicles to the cochlear to restore your hearing again.
You will often be discharged from the hospital after a night’s stay after your operation. A "Day Surgery" option is often possible also. It is important that you observe water precautions after surgery and prevent water from entering the operated ear after the surgery, especially when showering. Also, avoid heavy lifting and straining / sneezing for at least 1 month after your surgery. Any external scars should also be taken care of. An ointment will usually be prescribed for you to apply on the external scar. Ear drops will also be prescribed for you to apply into your ear. Rest assured that the doctor and the nursing team will teach you the wound care and give you specific instructions prior to your discharge. A doctor’s appointment will usually be fixed for you about one week after your discharge to review your wound.