The eardrum vibrates as sound enters the ear canal. Sound is then conducted to the inner ear through three small bones – the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil) and stapes (stirrup). Normally, these bones move freely. Otosclerosis (from the Greek words for ear hardening) is a certain type of hearing loss (conductive hearing loss) that occurs when the stapes bone gradually hardens and stops vibrating. This reduces the amount of sound transmitted to the nerve of the inner ear.
Hearing loss from otosclerosis occurs gradually – over months to years. Although the true cause is unknown, there is often a family history of this type of hearing loss. It is not uncommon that hearing loss can affect the other ear as well.
Once hearing drops below a certain level (about 30dB), a hearing aid is an option. Unlike nerve hearing loss, however, hearing loss from otosclerosis can be corrected with an outpatient surgical procedure called a stapedectomy.
Find out how the Northwest ENT Surgery Center can help you restore your hearing. Call (678) 483-8833 to schedule your appointment today. We are conveniently located at 960 Woodstock Parkway Suite 101 in Woodstock, GA.