Otosclerosis is a middle ear bone condition that affects double the number of women than men, is present in certain genetic groups more than others, and usually begins somewhere between the ages of 15 and 45. It can begin shortly after pregnancy and is thought to be of greater risk in women because of certain hormonal triggers. Often, women in the same family will report the same problem.
The symptoms are usually a gradually poorer hearing, often on only one ear. Otosclerosis increases the mass of the middle ear bones, making them heavier and taking more sound energy to move them. While otosclerosis is a middle ear condition, it can sometimes invade the inner ear, causing damage to the cells of the cochlea that receive high-pitched sounds.
The good news is, both surgical intervention and hearing aids are usually very helpful in this condition, so visiting your audiologist is important. It is particularly important to have your hearing tested when your ears are not the same, as several different problems should be differentiated to ensure you hearing health can be well managed. Early intervention with uneven hearing loss is vital.