- Clinical science
Otosclerosis refers to abnormal bone growth of the bony labyrinth, which contains the structures of the inner ear. It manifests primarily at the stapes, which becomes increasingly fixated to the oval window. This process leads to progressive conductive hearing loss because the ossicle's ability to vibrate becomes increasingly limited. Frequently, the other ear is also affected. Left untreated, the disease can progress to deafness. Audiometry reveals decreased air conduction and a characteristic Carhart's notch in the bone conduction curve. Replacement of the upper part of the stapes with a prosthesis (stapedotomy) is the treatment of choice.
- Sex: ♀ > ♂ (2:1)
- Age of onset: 20–40 years
- Ethnicity: primarily affects whites
Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.
- Slowly progressive with the 2nd ear affected in ∼ 70% of patients as the disease progresses
- Mild vertigo (approx. 25%)
- Paracusis willisii: patients hear better in noisy rather than quiet surroundings.
- Quiet speech
- Schwartze sign: a red-blue hue seen through tympanic membrane
- The progression of otosclerosis cannot be significantly influenced by conservative therapy.
- Surgical procedures
- The stapes is partly (stapedotomy; ) or completely (stapedectomy) replaced by a prosthesis.
- Cochlear implant: in the case of bilateral deafness