Otosclerosis: Care Instructions

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Inside view of ear, showing ear canal and middle ear with detail of ear drum and bones of middle ear (malleus, incus, and stapes).


Otosclerosis occurs when bone in the middle ear grows more than it should. The bones in the middle ear are called the malleus, incus and stapes. This condition usually happens with the stapes bone. This bone growth keeps the ear from working well and can cause hearing loss. In some cases, hearing loss can be severe.

Doctors do not know for sure what causes otosclerosis. It may run in families. A person who has a parent with this condition is more likely to get it. It may also be caused by changes in hormones that happen during pregnancy or by infection with certain viruses.

If you have hearing loss, hearing aids may help you hear better. In some cases, surgery is needed to restore hearing.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Talk to a doctor who specializes in ear and hearing disorders to find out if you need a hearing aid. If you do, another type of specialist (audiologist) can help you decide what type and style of hearing aid is best for you.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You notice changes in hearing.
  • You have any problems.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.