What Is Otosclerosis?
A diagnostic radiologist with a subspecialty in neuroradiology, Gul Moonis, MD, serves on the staff at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Over the course of a medical career spanning more than 23 years, Dr. Gul Moonis has gained extensive experience imaging a variety of disorders of the ear, including otosclerosis.
A genetic disorder affecting the bones of the middle and inner ear, otosclerosis is characterized by abnormal bone growth that prevents the vibrations involved in transmitting sound information to the brain. The primary symptom of otosclerosis is a gradual hearing loss that typically begins between the ages of 10 and 30. Other symptoms of the disease include dizziness, imbalance, and tinnitus.
Once otosclerosis is diagnosed through a physical exam and hearing test, an otolaryngologist will plot a course of treatment. A CT scan of the temporal bone can be performed to diagnose the disease. In some cases, a physician will take a conservative approach that simply involves regular tests to monitor the progression of hearing loss.
Other interventions include hearing aids, sodium fluoride tablets, and surgery. For conductive hearing loss, which primarily involves the bones of the middle ear, surgical interventions have a high success rate of improving hearing and reducing other symptoms of otosclerosis.