One of the rather unpleasant diseases that can deliver a lot of discomfort is ear otosclerosis. According to the statistics, about 0.1-1% of the world’s population suffers from it. In addition, the disease remain undiagnosed in a number of cases. With a disease, the bones in the ear lose their mobility, which leads to significant hearing loss.
What can trigger the onset of otosclerosis?
If a person has a predisposition to otosclerosis, it can manifest itself under the influence of various adverse factors. These include infectious diseases, like influenza, measles, scarlet fever and many others. Another trigger for the development of the disease is a change in hormonal levels. And this is not necessarily an endocrine disorder, the disease can occur against the background of pregnancy, lactation, and menopause. That is why it is more common in women.
In addition, there are other causes of otosclerosis:
- Frequent inflammations of the middle ear.
- Birth defects, in particular, stapes fixation.
- Paget’s disease.
- Noise pollution.
- Stress and physical overload.
How is the disease manifested?
It is extremely important to find a highly qualified doctor who will conduct a complete diagnostic and prescribe the right treatment. In general, most cases of the disease are corrected with surgery. Depending on the form and stage of otosclerosis, surgery cost may vary.
When ear otosclerosis develops, the symptoms are usually as follows:
- Hearing impairment manifests itself first in one ear. It is more difficult to perceive male speech than female and children’s speech. As the disease progresses, hearing loss affects the second ear and even deafness may arise.
- Tinnitus is most often one-sided, but in some cases, bilateral tinnitus arise.
- Periodic pain in the ear is felt. It manifests itself at the sclerotic stage of the disease.
- Vertigo occurs periodically and has a low-intensity character.
- Neurasthenia manifests itself at the second stage, the patient becomes irritable, feels weakness and drowsiness.
If you notice the symptoms described above, you need to contact the ENT doctor. The insidiousness of otosclerosis is that it gives symptoms similar to other ear diseases. In particular, otitis media of various types is manifested by dry skin and hearing loss. Also, a decrease in hearing and tinnitus can arise with neuritis of the auditory nerve, Meniere’s disease, osteopathy, tumors, and even banal sulfur plugs.
How is otosclerosis diagnosed?
The doctor examines the ear with an otoscope and notices pathological changes. These include the absence of sulfur, dryness and atrophy of the skin, as well as the reduced sensitivity. Another method that reveals otosclerosis is an audiogram. Speech audiometry is performed and the patient may not hear a whisper. Additionally, thresholds of perception at different frequencies are assessed.
Therefore, the differential diagnosis of otosclerosis is required. It includes such examinations:
- Tests with tuning fork.
- Acoustic impedancemetry.
- Vestibulometry, stabilography and other methods for diagnosing vestibular function.
- CT of the skull. This is the most reliable method that gives detailed information about where the foci of the disease are located and how strong the pathological changes are.
- Ultrasound sensitivity test.
Additionally, you may need to consult other specialists with a narrow focus. For example, a patient may be referred to an otoneurologist.
Features of the treatment of otosclerosis
Patients with this diagnosis are interested in the main question – can otosclerosis be cured? The answer depends form and stage of the disease.
The following therapeutic methods are used:
- Stapedoplasty. The patient notices hearing restoration on the 7-10th day.
- Stapedectomy. The stapes is completely removed and replaced by a prosthesis, the recovery period and recommendations are similar to stapedoplasty.
- Mobilization of the stapes. The bone adhesions are disconnected and thus bone mobility is restored.
- Labyrinth fenestration. A new opening is made, thanks to which sound conduction is restored.
Despite the difficulties of diagnosis and treatment, many patients undergo successful therapy in Germany. If you want to restore your hearing and quickly return to your normal rhythm of life, use the help of https://bookinghealth.com/. Booking Health will select treatment programs in the best otiatric clinics, where dozens of successful surgeries are performed daily.