Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Otosclerosis

By

Taha A. Jan

, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Reviewed/Revised Jan 2024
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION

Otosclerosis causes abnormal bone to form and accumulate in the bones of the ear. The abnormal bone interferes with the transmission of sound from the middle ear to the inner ear.

Otosclerosis tends to run in families, and half of all cases are inherited. Children have a 25% chance of developing otosclerosis if one parent has it and a 50% chance if both parents have it.

Symptoms of Otosclerosis

Only about 10% of people with otosclerosis develop hearing loss. Hearing loss usually becomes apparent during late adolescence or early adulthood. Rarely, hearing loss develops by age 7 or 8.

Typically, otosclerosis develops in one ear, although more than half of people develop symptoms in both ears. Hearing loss is the most common symptom. Loss may be gradual. In many people, the first sign of otosclerosis is a problem hearing low-pitched sounds or whispers. Some people with otosclerosis also have tinnitus Ear Ringing or Buzzing Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) is noise originating in the ear rather than in the environment. It is a symptom and not a specific disease. Tinnitus is very common—10 to 15% of people experience... read more (ringing or buzzing in the ear) and very rarely dizziness.

Diagnosis of Otosclerosis

Otosclerosis is usually diagnosed by a specialist in hearing disorders. Audiologic tests Testing Worldwide, about half a billion people (almost 8% of the world's population) have hearing loss. More than 15% of people in the United States have some degree of hearing loss that affects their... read more Testing (such as tympanometry Testing Testing ) help doctors identify the cause of hearing loss and determine what other testing may be needed. Sometimes computed tomography (CT) is done.

Treatment of Otosclerosis

A hearing aid usually improves hearing, but some people may prefer surgery. Stapedectomy can be done to remove some or all of the stapes and to replace it with an artificial part (prosthesis). However, with this procedure, worsening hearing loss and balance problems are possible risks.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
quiz link

Test your knowledge

Take a Quiz!
iOS ANDROID
iOS ANDROID
iOS ANDROID
TOP