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What is otosclerosis?

  • Disease process affecting the middle ear bones (malleus, incus and stapes).
  • Occurs in approximately 10% of the adult Caucasian population.

What causes otosclerosis?

  • The underlying cause of the disease is unknown.
  • The disease is of genetic origin in many cases.
  • It is a bilateral condition in ~75% of affected individuals.


  • Slow, progressive hearing loss is the primary symptom.
  • Hearing loss typically begins in the early to midtwenties.
  • Affects more women than men.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) may also occur.


  • After diagnosis, your ENT physician may choose to monitor the progress of the disease through annual hearing tests.
  • A surgical treatment called a stapedectomy may be appropriate in some cases.
  • An audiologist may help alleviate hearing loss symptoms through the fitting of a hearing aid.

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