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OTOSCLEROSIS

What is
Otosclerosis?

Otosclerosis is a unique condition where normal bone begins to overgrow in the middle ear. The bone growth leads to fixation of the stapes bone, which acts as the main piston responsible for conducting sound energy from the outside world and into the inner ear. If left untreated, the stapes can become completely immobile, leading to significant conductive hearing loss. Fortunately, the stapedectomy procedure has been developed and perfected over several decades to help restore this hearing loss for thousands of patients without the need for hearing aids.

What are the symptoms of otosclerosis?

The most common symptom is hearing loss. Patients notice a gradual decrease in hearing over several years. Patients with early otosclerosis first notice that they have difficulty hearing low pitched sounds, like whispering or engine sounds. Patients often complain that they can understand speech, but the volume is too low. Other symptoms may include dizziness and tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear).

How is otosclerosis diagnosed?

An otologist (ear specialist) can easily detect evidence of otosclerosis on your initial visit. An otoscope is used to look at the eardrum and parts of the middle ear. Your otologist will also perform a hearing test, and tuning fork testing to confirm conductive hearing loss. A test called “acoustic reflex” can also give the otologist a clue to how fixed the stapes bone is. A CT scan of the ear may be necessary in some cases mainly to rule out other possible causes of your hearing loss.

Are there medical treatments for otosclerosis?

Similar to other forms of hearing loss, a hearing aid may be beneficial in patients with otosclerosis. Studies show that supplementation with fluoride may help slow down the progression of otosclerosis. Most patients with otosclerosis may be candidates for a stapedotomy procedure, which can restore hearing without the need for a hearing aid.

What are the surgical options for otosclerosis?

The stapedectomy procedure is a minimally invasive surgery that removes the fused bone in the middle ear and replaces it with a small titanium prosthesis. In most cases, it helps restore the patient’s hearing without the need for a hearing aid. The procedure takes place in an outpatient surgery center, and takes about an hour to perform. Patients can go home the same day after the surgery, the recovery period is short, and patients usually notice improvement in hearing within a week after surgery.

01

Access to eardrum

Access to eardrum

Stapedectomy can be done with local or general anesthesia. The surgeon uses a laser or micro-instruments to access your eardrum. Sometimes, the doctor opts to make a small incision behind or in front of your ear to access your eardrum.

02

The eardrum is lifted

The eardrum is lifted

The eardrum is lifted to reach the middle ear bones.

03

Stape is replaced with a device

Stape is replaced with a device

Stape is removed and replaced with an artificial device.

04

Putting the eardrum back in place

Putting the eardrum back in place

The surgery is finished by putting the eardrum back in place.
The surgeon places bandages or other material on your eardrum to hold it in place while your ear heals.

What is the recovery after the surgery?

You’ll be able to go home once you’ve recovered from anesthesia. You’ll need to rest for the first few days after your surgery. Most peoples’ ears heal after about six weeks. Here are some other things to expect after your stapedectomy:

You may have some bloody discharge from your ear. If you do, gently place cotton balls in your ear to absorb the discharge.
The doctor may prescribe antibiotic drops for your ear.
You’ll need to keep your ear dry. If you take showers, put some Vaseline on a cotton ball and put the cotton ball in your ear. Gently pat your outside ear area dry after your shower.
You should avoid flying in airplanes until your ear heals. That may take four to six weeks. Flying puts pressure on your ear, and that pressure may dislodge your device.
Don’t use earbuds until your ear heals.

You may not realize you have otosclerosis until you notice you can’t hear people when they whisper or speak softly. Stapedectomies are an effective way of treating otosclerosis and restoring your hearing. If you’ve been diagnosed with otosclerosis, stapedectomy may be the solution to your hearing problem.

Still have questions regarding the condition?

While the information in this website may be helpful, it will never fully relate ear treatment to you. If you are facing any ear problem, please call our office and one of our representatives will talk to you.

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TESTIMONIALS

What are patient say about us

Thanks to the expert care and skillful ear surgery I received, my life has been transformed. I can hear clearly again, and I’m forever grateful for the life-changing experience provided by the talented team

M.J.,

“You’ve changed the way I hear and feel and will forever be so grateful.”

"I am truly amazed by this total process… You and your staff have been great. I can hear things that I have not been able to hear in years. After 15 years of hearing aids and only a little help I was afraid that I was going to have to medically retire due to not being able to hear. With my Cochlear implant, I know that I can work until I am ready to retire. Thank you so much!!!"

JOSEPH ,

“Dr. Nazarian, who gave me back the wonderful gift of hearing!”

“Since the very first time of seeing Dr. Nazarian, I feel that I have been in the best of care- and from the first day and through the my surgery, I have felt that Dr. Nazarian is a very compassionate and caring doctor- more than I have ever seen. I feel very fortunate to have been referred to Dr. Nazarian. He is the best!”

A.P. ,

“He’s the greatest surgeon and physician I have ever had the pleasure of being cared for.

"I was referred to Dr. Nazarian by my ENT in San Fernando valley after my ear drum failed to heal on its own. I didn’t know what to expect. He explained everything and was extremely compassionate to my situation. He not only reconstructed for me a completely new ear drum but gave me a better ear than I was born with. Thank you Dr. Nazarian for being the best!"

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