Otosclerosis is a middle ear condition that occurs when the stapes(stirrup) bone abnormally grows and fixates onto the cochlea (inner ear).
The bones of the middle ear system transmit and amplify sound received from vibrations of the eardrum to the inner ear. Therefore, the vibrations are significantly dampened by the presence of otosclerosis. The result is a progressive conductive hearing loss that can happen in one ear and eventually present in both ears.
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Otosclerosis is thought to be a hereditary condition that seems to be more prevalent in middle-aged white women. In addition to hearing loss, some people experience balance issues and/or tinnitus (noises in the head). Hearing aids can treat hearing loss. A surgical procedure, stapedectomy, is an option for treatment. There is the possibility that the bony growth can invade the cochlea, causing further damage.