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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Otosclerosis (oh-toe-scler-OH-sis) is a condition of the middle ear in which new bone tissue is formed, interfering with the mechanism of the three bones conducting sound. It normally occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 50. In young adults, especially women, conductive deafness occurs between the ages of 18 and 40. Otosclerosis is a chronic disease which frequently runs in families. So if your family has a history of it, an examination by an ear, nose and throat specialist is probably a good idea. There are several new treatments available which may reduce the severity of the condition or even eliminate it completely. Treatment centers are available which use fluoride treatments to retard the growth of new bone. A surgical remedy is also available. An operation known as a stapedectomy (stap-uh-DECK-tuh-me) replaces the inner ear bones, along with the extra tissue, with prosthetic substitutes. It can usually be performed in the doctor's office under local anesthesia and is successful in more than ninety percent of cases. If you're beginning to experience signs of hearing loss, a thorough hearing examination should be scheduled.

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