Everything You Need to Know about Otosclerosis Today - Hear More Associates


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Otosclerosis is a rare condition that causes hearing loss. It happens when a small bone in the middle ear gets stuck in place. Usually, this occurs when the bone tissue in the middle ear grows around the stapes (the small bone in the middle ear) in a way that it shouldn’t.

The Symptoms of Otosclerosis

The symptoms of otosclerosis vary depending on how severe the condition is and which ear it affects. Usually, the symptoms of otosclerosis include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Ringing or buzzing noises

The Risk Factors

There are various risk factors when it comes to otosclerosis:

  • Age: Otosclerosis most often appears in people younger than age 45, but it can start as early as age 10. The illness typically worsens during their 30s.
  • Genetics: If someone in your family has otosclerosis, you’re more likely to experience it too.
  • Gender: Women are at a higher risk of developing otosclerosis. Experts aren’t sure why, but if you’re a woman and develop otosclerosis during pregnancy, you’re likely to lose your hearing faster than if you were a man or you weren’t pregnant.
  • Race and Ethnicity: Caucasians are most likely to get the disease, and it is rarer in other groups, such as African Americans.
  • Medical History: Certain diseases and other conditions might make you more likely to develop otosclerosis. For example, if you had measles at any time in your life, you have an increased risk of getting the condition. Other conditions that can raise your risk include stress fractures to the bony tissue around your inner ear and immune disorders in which your immune system mistakenly attacks parts of your body.

The Treatment for Otosclerosis

You may not need treatment immediately because you have mild otosclerosis, but the condition will worsen over time. Your provider may talk to you about some things you can do. 

Monitoring the condition is an option, but it’s only recommended for people with mild cases.They can also provide you with hearing aids. This can help with hearing loss and control your balance. 

The hearing aids can be adjusted based on if you have hearing problems in one or both ears. The hearing aids might also help you get used to changes in your condition.

Also, you can get surgery. A surgery called a stapedectomy is often the best treatment for otosclerosis. With this surgery, your provider removes the small bony growth that has formed around the stapes in your middle ear. This surgery can restore hearing in many people with otosclerosis, and it might help reduce tinnitus (ringing in the ears) as well.

When to See a Doctor

It is important to see a doctor if you have any of the symptoms of otosclerosis. It is a treatable condition if it is diagnosed early. Because the symptoms of otosclerosis can mimic those of other ear problems, you should be sure to see a doctor if you have symptoms.

The Bottom Line

Otosclerosis is a rare condition that affects your ears. It causes hearing loss and tinnitus and can have a big impact on your day-to-day life. Otosclerosis typically happens during your 20s or 30s. You can have surgery to treat it, but you can try to prevent the condition from worsening if you detect it early.

Speak to a hearing consultant in Massachusetts here at Hear More Associates. We are the most trusted hearing care specialists for patients throughout Lexington and Greater Boston, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Get in touch with us. 

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