Op.Dr. Behçet Şahin | KBB Uzmanı


What is Otosclerosis?

Otosclerosis is a disease that occurs as a result of abnormal bone formation in the middle ear and inner ear. If this new bone formation begins to prevent the transmission of sound to the inner ear, which is the main organ of hearing, hearing loss occurs in the patient.

What Causes Otosclerosis?

The exact cause of otosclerosis is unknown. However, in some of the patients it is due to hereditary causes. It has also been claimed that there is a relationship between the measles virus and otosclerosis disease. The disease is more common in middle-aged women. However, it can also be seen in men and even children.

How Otosclerosis Causes Hearing Loss?

In otosclerosis patients, new bone formation often settles at the base of the stapes ossicles and prevents it from moving, resulting in loss of sound conduction to the inner ear. In this case, the patient has a conductive hearing loss. The new bone formation caused by this disease sometimes settles in the inner ear wall. It also causes 'sensorineural' loss originating from the inner ear by directly or indirectly affecting the cochlea. This type of hearing loss in which 'sensorineural' loss is added to conductive hearing loss is called 'mixed' hearing loss. In more than half of the patients, both ears are affected, although not at the same level.

What Are the Symptoms of Otosclerosis?

In most patients, the complaint that requires consulting a doctor is unilateral or bilateral hearing loss. The loss grows slowly and the patient finds that at first he cannot hear only soft sounds (such as whispers). Some of the patients state that they can hear conversations better in noisy environments. The second most common complaint is tinnitus in the diseased ear. More rarely, there may be complaints of dizziness or mild instability.

How Is Otosclerosis Treated?

If hearing loss has reached a certain level in otosclerosis, surgery becomes an effective treatment method. The surgery performed for the treatment of otosclerosis disease is called 'stapedectomy' surgery. In this surgery, a hole is made in the base of the stapes ossicle and other parts of the ossicles called the anterior and posterior legs are removed. A prosthesis, generally known as a 'teflon piston', is placed in such a way that the hook part enters the long arm of the incus ossicles on the stapes and the piston part enters the hole opened at the base of the stapes. This surgery, which requires special skills, is performed using advanced operating microscopes.

If the hearing loss is low, the patient does not accept surgery or is not suitable for surgery for various reasons, the option of non-surgical treatment will be considered. In this case, hearing aids that amplify the sound into the ear canal may be useful. Some doctors apply 'sodium fluoride' treatment to their patients who are followed up without surgery. Taking this substance by mouth is thought to slow the progression of the disease.