OTO-
OTOSCLEROSIS
condition is diagnosed by examination
of the middle ear with an
otoscope;
the
eardrum will appear red and possibly
bulging outwards. Treatment is with
analgesic drugs,
and sometimes
antibi-
otic drugs,
although many childhood
infections are viral.
One possible complication of otitis
media is
glue ear
(chronic secretory oti-
tis media), in which a thick fluid builds
up in the ear and affects hearing. It may
develop following severe or recurrent oti-
tis media, particularly in children. Other
complications include hearing impair-
ment and a
cholesteatoma.
In rare cases,
the infection responsible for otitis media
spreads inwards to cause
mastoiditis.
oto- A prefix that denotes a relationship
to the
ear,
as in
otorrhoea
(discharge
from the ear).
otoacoustic emission An echo emitted
by the inner ear in response to sound.
The emission is produced only by a nor-
mally functioning ear and is recorded in
a test to detect impaired hearing,
otomycosis A fungal
ear
infection that
causes inflammation of the ear canal
and external ear (see
otitis externa).
otoplasty Cosmetic or
reconstructive
surgery on the external ear. This proce-
dure is usually carried out to make
protruding ears lie closer to the head.
Otoplasty may also be performed to
construct a missing ear in a child born
with part or all of one ear missing, or to
reconstruct a damaged ear.
otorhinolaryngology A surgical spec-
iality, also known as ENT surgery, that is
concerned with diseases of the
ear,
nose,
and
throat.
ENT specialists treat
sinus
problems,
otitis media, glue ear,
tonsillitis,
minor hearing loss,
otosclero-
sis, Meniere's disease,
ainvay problems
in children, uncontrollable nosebleeds,
and cancer of the
larjmx
and
sinuses.
otorrhoea A discharge of pus or other
fluid from the ear (see ear;
discharge
from).
otosclerosis A disorder of the middle
ear that causes progressive
deafness.
The condition usually develops in both
ears. Otosclerosis occurs when over-
growth of bone immobilizes the
stapes
(the innermost one of the three tiny
bones in the middle ear). As a result,
sound vibrations are prevented from
passing along the bone to the inner ear.
To an affected person, sounds are muf-
fled but can be distinguished more
easily if there is background noise.
Otosclerosis frequently runs in fami-
lies, and symptoms usually start to
appear in early adulthood. The condi-
tion affects more women than men, and
often develops during pregnancy. Hear-
ing loss progresses slowly over 10 to 15
years and is often accompanied by
tin-
nitus
and, more rarely,
vertigo.
A degree
of sensorineural deafness may develop,
making high tones difficult to hear and
causing the sufferer to speak loudly.
The condition is diagnosed by
hearing
tests.
It can be cured by
stapedectomy,
a
surgical procedure in which the stapes
is replaced by a tiny piston, which
moves through a hole created in the
inner ear. Because the piston can move
freely, it can transmit sound vibrations
to the inner ear. Alternatively, a
hearing-
aid
can markedly improve hearing.
425
previous page 423 BMA Illustrated Medical Dictionary read online next page 425 BMA Illustrated Medical Dictionary read online Home Toggle text on/off