Approximately 60 percent of otosclerosis cases are hereditary. While it is seen across ethnic groups, it is most common in Caucasians between 20 and 45 years of age. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men and, once affected, often experience accelerated hearing loss during pregnancy.
Hearing loss is the primary symptom of otosclerosis. The hearing loss may be in one or both ears. It usually begins with mild loss, but often increases over time. Patients with otosclerosis may also suffer tinnitus, a ringing or rushing sound in the affected ear. Balance problems such as dizziness, vertigo, and unsteadiness may also occur, but are far less common.
Patients with possible otosclerosis are first given a hearing test. However, as hearing loss can be caused by a number of disorders, a CT scan may sometimes be recommended.
The good news is that conductive hearing loss due to otosclerosis is reversible, in most cases, with a surgical procedure known as a laser stapedotomy. Part of the Stapes is removed and replaced with a prosthesis that, once in place, allows the bones of the middle ear to move properly, thus restoring conductive function to the ear.
At NYOG, Dr. Sperling uses a specialized laser stapedotomy technique that includes vein grafting in order to eliminate post-operative vertigo, which is common after more traditional stapedectomy procedures. This technique is 90 percent to 95 percent effective at restoring the ability to hear, often immediately after surgery.
As an alternative to stapedectomy (surgery), traditional hearing aids can correct the hearing loss associated with otosclerosis. In some cases, a sodium fluoride treatment may also be prescribed to slow the progression of the disease.
Life Changing! Due to Otosclerosis I have worn hearing aids over 15 years. During that time I went from a mild loss to a severe loss. In June, 2015 Dr. Sperling performed a stapedoctomy on my left ear. The results are amazing having gotten back about 90% of my hearing. Dr, Sperling’s skill as a surgeon are matched by his compassion and reassuring manner. Although he’s done this procedure countless times, I never felt like just a number. The initial consultation, sitting with me a few minutes before the operation, and personally calling me the day after all proved his dedication and care for his patients. I highly recommend Dr, Sperling and his team and look forward to having the same experience with my right ear in September.
Dr. Sperling performed a Stapedoctomy to treat my Otosclerosis. He made me feel at ease since my first consultation with him. He explained my condition thoroughly and even showed me a power point presentation. On the day of the surgery he met with me right before the surgery to see if I had any questions and just sat by my side for a few minutes, which was very comforting. Once the Surgery was completed he took the time to go to a different floor to find my wife to let her know that everything went well. The day after the surgery he called me himself to see how I was feeling. On top of this great experience I was able to hear again!!!