Otosclerosis and Otospongiosis are caused by bony formations around the Stapes middle ear bone that connects to the cochlea. This impedes the conduction of sound from the eardrum to the cochlea. This typically results in a Conductive Hearing Loss. Approximately 60% of cases are genetic. It occurs in females twice as often as in males, and in Caucasians more than any other racial group.
The onset of Otosclerosis and Otospongiosis is usually around ages 15-45. Otosclerosis and Otospongiosis are generally diagnosed by a hearing evaluation which indicates a conductive hearing loss, abnormal tympanometry, and often absent reflexes. Once referred to an ENT physician, a CT scan may be completed to confirm the diagnosis.
There are two typical treatment options for these conditions, Amplification with hearing aids and Surgery. Depending on the severity, surgery may be recommended to correct the conductive hearing loss. The two surgical procedures are a Stapedectomy which involves removing the Stapes and the Stapes footplate and replacing them with a prosthetic, or a Stapedotomy which involves removing the Stapes and drilling a hole into the Stapes footplate and replacing it with a prosthetic.
If the surgical procedures return hearing thresholds to normal, no additional treatment is needed. However, if there is still a hearing loss after surgery, hearing aids may still be needed. Overall, Otosclerosis and Otospongiosis are very treatable. So if you are on the younger side and your hearing has declined, make sure you find an audiologist to get your hearing tested. The sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you can fix it.