otosclerosis

Otosclerosis (Middle Ear Calcification)

Otosclerosis, also known as middle ear calcification, is one of the common causes of hearing loss. Otosclerosis, which is a genetically inherited disease, can occur by skipping several generations.

The first stage of hearing is when sound waves reach the eardrum through the outer ear canal and vibrate the eardrum. This vibration is transferred to the inner ear fluids through tiny ossicles called hammer, anvil and stirrup in the middle ear. Sound waves that are converted into electrical energy in the nerve endings located here are transmitted to the hearing centers in the brain by the auditory nerve, and hearing is provided.

Problems in the process of transferring sound waves through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear fluids cause “conductive hearing loss”. In this type of loss, the hearing organs in the inner ear are intact, but sound waves cannot reach these organs. Hearing loss originating from the inner ear and auditory nerve is called “sensorineural hearing loss”. In otosclerosis, a disease that can affect the inner ear, both types of loss are usually seen together. This type of hearing loss is called “mixed hearing loss”.

Hearing Loss Due to Otosclerosis

In otosclerosis disease, spongy-looking new bone formations occur as foci in the bone structure that contains the inner ear hearing organs.

When these changes affect the hearing organs in the inner ear, nerve type hearing loss called “cochlear otosclerosis” occurs.

The most common site of the disease is the area called the oval window, where the base of the stirrup transmits sound wave vibrations to the inner ear. The otosclerosis focus here prevents the vibration of the stirrup (stapes) bone, impairing the transmission of the sound wave to the inner ear, and as a result, conductive hearing loss occurs.

The type and degree of hearing loss that occurs in otosclerosis varies depending on the amount of involvement (restriction of movement) of the stirrup and the amount of hearing organs in the inner ear affected by the disease.

Otosclerosis Treatment

Medical treatment: Some treatments are used to slow down the progression of hearing loss, especially in diseases that are detected at a young age and progress rapidly. But otosclerosis has no medical treatment.

Surgical treatment: With the “stapedectomy” surgery, the stapes bone, which is restricted in movement, is removed and a prosthesis is placed to transmit sound waves to the inner ear. With this surgery, which can be performed under local or general anesthesia, very successful results are obtained in 90-95% of the patients, and conductive hearing loss can be almost completely corrected in the vast majority of patients. Surgery is not recommended for patients with very mild conductive hearing loss or severe nerve type hearing loss where the inner ear hearing organs are severely affected. Stapedectomy surgery is recommended for all otosclerosis patients, unless there is a serious health problem that prevents surgery.

Dizziness may occur for a few days after surgery. At the end of the surgery, the surgical sponges placed in the ear are removed in 7-10 days, and the patients can return to their normal lives at the end of this period.

Although the risks of stapedectomy surgery performed with appropriate surgical equipment and surgical techniques are quite low, there is a risk of hearing loss at a rate of approximately 1% in each operation. Apart from this, complications such as the formation of a hole in the eardrum, damage to the facial nerve, infection in the ear, and early dislocation of the piston can be observed much more rarely.

Hearing Aids: Every patient who can benefit from surgery can also benefit from a hearing aid. In particular, patients with bilateral otosclerosis and who do not prefer surgery are recommended to use hearing aids so that their inner ear functions do not regress in parallel with decreased hearing.

Stapedectomy – Middle Ear Calcification Surgery

With the “stapedectomy” operation, the stapes bone, whose movement is restricted due to otosclerosis disease, is removed and a prosthesis that will transmit sound waves to the inner ear is placed in its place. With this surgery, which can be performed under local or general anesthesia, highly successful results are obtained, and conductive hearing loss can be almost completely corrected in the vast majority of patients.

Surgery is not recommended for patients with very mild conductive hearing loss or severe nerve type hearing loss where the inner ear hearing organs are severely affected. Stapedectomy surgery is recommended for all otosclerosis patients, unless there is a serious health problem that prevents surgery.

Dizziness may occur for a few days after surgery. At the end of the surgery, the surgical sponges placed in the ear are removed in 7-10 days, and the patients can return to their normal lives at the end of this period.

Although the risks of stapedectomy surgery performed with appropriate surgical equipment and surgical techniques are quite low, there is a risk of hearing loss at a rate of approximately 1% in each operation. Apart from this, complications such as the formation of a hole in the eardrum, damage to the facial nerve, infection in the ear, and early dislocation of the piston can be observed much more rarely.

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