Otosclerosis

DISABILITY BENEFIT AND TAX CREDIT

FOR OTOSCLEROSIS

 

Introduction

Otosclerosis is a hearing disorder wherein there is an abnormal formation (or fusion) of the bones inside the ear canal which prevents sound waves from travelling from the middle ear towards the inner ear. This condition usually results to conductive and/or sensorineural hearing loss

This condition has an incidence of about 2.5% of the general population, however, it is said that it has only clinically manifested in about 0.3-0.5%.Otosclerosis is a condition that is common to Caucasian and Asian populations, and has been commonly diagnosed in women. In terms of age, it is quite common during the teenage years until mid-adulthood.

 

Causes

The exact cause for the occurrence of otosclerosis is yet unknown. However, there have been studies that point to genetics and heredity as the underlying reason for the condition. It has been observed that this disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which simply means that you have a 50% chance of having a gene for otosclerosis if one of your parents has it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be manifesting the symptoms of the disease.

There is also a proposition that otosclerosis can possibly be triggered by exposure to a specific virus (such as measles).

 

Signs and Symptoms

The primary symptoms for this disease are tinnitus and progressive hear loss in one or both ears.  The progression of the hear loss may be at a varying rate, depending on the seriousness of the condition, and the tinnitus is also likely to become worse in proportion to the heating loss. This condition may also affect the balance of a person, and may cause dizziness or vertigo.

Due to increased or enhances bone conduction, patients with otosclerosis may have low-volume speech, since they usually perceive their own voices too be “too loud”.

 

Treatment

Otosclerosis has several treatment options that patients can choose from. The first is to take the conservative approach which is to do nothing. According to some medical experts, this condition need not be treated. Instead, the individual who has otosclerosis can simply arrange to have hearing tests conducted regularly to check on the progress of the hearing loss, and thus of the disease.

The second option is to get fitted for hearing aids in order to compensate for the hearing loss. This is especially applicable to those who have conductive hearing loss.

The third option is to undergo medical treatment. The recommended therapy, however, is not exactly a pharmaceutic approach, instead it is simply supplementation. The use of sodium fluoride has been played with, but not all medical practitioners are convinced with its effectiveness. Thus, the use of fluoride preparations as a supplement to manage otosclerosis is not a widely accepted option.

The last option is surgery. A person with otosclerosis can opt to have a stapedectomy (partial removal of the stapes with implantation of a prosthetic device) especially if he has conductive hearing loss. Another surgical option is cochlear implants.