Otosclerosis is a condition in which there's abnormal bone growth inside the ear. It's a fairly common cause of hearing loss in young adults. There are three tiny bones deep inside the ear, which vibrate when sound waves enter. They transmit sound waves to the cochlea (inner ear), which converts them into signals that are sent to the brain.
In otosclerosis, the stapes (""stirrup"" bone) begins to fuse with the surrounding bone, eventually becoming fixed so it can't move. This means sound is no longer transmitted into the inner ear efficiently.
Most people with otosclerosis notice hearing problems in their 20s or 30s. One or both ears can be affected.
Symptoms of otosclerosis include:
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