What You Need to Know About Otosclerosis[imwb_socialbuzz] By John On August 3, 2011 Under Tinnitus
There is much more to see inside your ears than what appears only on the outside of the head. Normally, we only see the outer ear which basically comprises only of some skin and muscle structure. What we don’t notice is the complex yet sensitive entities that comprise our middle and inner ear. The middle ear in particular is primarily responsible for transferring sound from air waves to fluid–membrane waves within the cochlea or the sensory organ for hearing. But just like the inner which is vulnerable to Tinnitus and other ear disease, the middle ear is also susceptible to an ear-related disorder that produces abnormal growth of bone structure within the middle ear. Otosclerosis is widely considered a genetically-triggered bone disease that surprisingly affects only the middle part of the ear. Because of the abnormal presence of bone structures within the ear passageways, an individual may suffer from hearing problems or worst, may permanently lose their sense of hearing.
Despite efforts by the medical community to obtain helpful and useful data to fight the disease, the real cause remains a mystery. However, there are a number of risk factors that are taught to influence the propagation of this disease. According to experts, Otoscleroris is a hereditary disease and can be passed on from one family member to the other. In order to determine who’s at risk from a particular family, experts turn to the family’s genes to get some answers. Some other factors taught to trigger the disorder are gender and pregnancy. Based on a worldwide research conducted by medical experts, they were able to conclude that middle-aged women were the most vulnerable to the disease. They explained that certain hormones that are active during pregnancy may trigger a chain reaction that will ultimately lead to the disease.
The Common Symptoms
The disease affects both ears but initially starts at either one. The most common symptom is the depreciation of the sense of hearing. The hearing loss may start gradually but will eventually worsen as days pass by. The patient will instantly notice that he/she is not anymore able to hear low-pitched sounds and even direct whispers to the ear. One determining factor also is by placing the patient at a loud and noisy environment. The patient’s hearing condition will significantly improve with the presence of external noise. In some rare cases, the patient may also hear some wild ringing in his/her ears. This is caused by Tinnitus which synergizes with the disease and become more of a hindrance to the patient. Duration the duration of the sickness, the patient may encounter some recurring periods of mild dizziness and nausea.
It is good to know that doctors are now better equipped in diagnosing this disease. Traditionally, the illness was only diagnosed through clinical findings and identifying its symptoms. Today, with the rapid advancements in technology, specialized medical machines can now easily detect the presence of the abnormal bone structure within the middle ear. A patient can undergo a high resolution CT scan in order to determine the extent of damage that was incurred by the cochlear nerve. A grading system is then used measure the damage and come up with an effective cure. An audiologist can also be hired to check the degree of hearing sensitivity of the patient. An audiogram and a tympanogram are effective tools to conduct hearing tests.
Treating the disease may vary from one patient to the other. In mild cases, hearing aids can be used to help improve the patient’s sense of hearing. Medications and supplements that contain fluoride, calcium and vitamin D are also believed to effectively stop the disease from worsening. However, you still need to consult with your doctor to avoid any side effects. In serious cases, the doctor may recommend surgery. The procedure will involve removing the affected stapes and replacing them with artificial ones. Because surgery is a delicate and risky process, patients should make it a point to consult with a certified otolaryngologist. Getting second opinion from other medical practitioners can also help you getting other options. After a successful surgery, it is very important to protect the ears from strong winds and loud noises.
If you think you have the disease, consult with your doctor immediately. Because the progression of sickness is very much unpredictable, it may take only before your middle ear suffers from severe damage brought by the disease. As time passes, more damage is also being dealt into your ears. In seeking help, try and find the one that specializes in ear, nose and throat diseases. They are more capable of providing a more accurate and informative diagnosis of your condition. Otoscleroris is not just a simple ear problem that will immediately go away. Through early detection and prognosis, you can prevent the worst from ever happening.