While you are going about your daily routine, undetected by you is the fact that your middle ear is busy at work with its lifelong task of bone remodeling. This is a process in which bone tissue has the capability of replacing old tissue with new. You aren’t aware of it until something abnormal occurs that interrupts the ability for sound to travel from the middle ear to the inner ear. Hearing loss is the most obvious symptom and that’s when you need to make an appointment with Fynes Audiology for treatment of otosclerosis in Mesa.
Exactly What is otosclerosis?
Otosclerosis is the abnormal hardening of bone tissue in the ear. It is estimated that more than three million Americans are affected by this condition. The highest percentage of cases is believed to be inherited and middle-aged, Caucasian women are most at risk.
What are the most common symptoms of otosclerosis?
There is a noticeable loss of hearing that begins in one ear and then gradually moves to the other ear. Patients with otosclerosis indicate that, at the outset, they are unable to hear low-pitched sounds or even a whisper. Others will experience ringing in one or both ears, known as tinnitus, or will have balance issues and dizzy spells. These symptoms can begin anytime between the ages of 15 and 45 with most occurring in people in their mid-20s.
How do I know for sure if I have otosclerosis?
Dr. Cassandra Fynes will perform a complete ear examination to determine if you have otosclerosis in Mesa. First, she will check for and then rule out any other diseases or health problems that can mimic the symptoms of otosclerosis. A hearing test may be conducted to measure your hearing sensitivity and sound conduction in your middle ear. Dr. Fynes may also schedule an imaging test to help her determine if otosclerosis is the cause of your hearing loss.
What are my options for treatment for otosclerosis in Mesa?
Following your thorough ear examination and hearing evaluation, if your hearing loss is determined to be mild, Dr. Fynes may recommend periodic observation or she may have you fitted for a hearing aid to help amplify the sound reaching your ear drum. In more severe cases of otosclerosis, a surgical procedure can restore or improve your hearing. If surgery is necessary, Dr. Fynes will refer you to a medical professional who specializes in performing a stapedectomy, such as an ENT specialist.
What is a stapedectomy?
Done on an outpatient basis under local or general anesthesia, a stapedectomy involves the removal of part or all of the immobilized stapes bone and replaces it with a prosthetic device that lets the middle ear bones resume normal movement. That movement stimulates fluid that allows sound waves to travel to the inner ear to improve or restore hearing.
In 80 percent of patients, otosclerosis affects hearing in both ears. In those cases, ears are operated on one at a time with the ear suffering from the most hearing loss done first. After that, the surgeon usually will wait at least six months before performing a stapedectomy on the other ear.