How does Otosclerosis cause hearing loss?

Eric E. Smouha, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)

In normal hearing, sound (which is the vibration of air) causes the eardrum to vibrate, and those impulses are carried to the inner ear through three small bones (malleus, incus, and stapes). The stapes vibrates like a piston and transforms the air vibrations of sound into fluid vibrations in the inner ear or cochlea. The fluid vibrations in the cochlea are captured by nerves, which transmit the sensation of sound to the brain.

Otosclerosis is a genetic disorder that affects the bone of the inner ear. The character of the bone changes from dense ivory to brittle and chalky. This abnormal bone forms around the base of the stapes and prevents it from vibrating properly, causing a decrease in hearing.

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