Ear calcifications, which can cause tinnitus and hearing loss, can bring the work and social life of patients to a standstill. Ear calcifications, which are mostly seen after the age of 30, can be treated with medication in the early period.
Calcification Occurs Mostly in the Middle Ear
Ear calcification, which is mostly seen in the 30-40s, is one of the most important causes of hearing loss. Calcification, which is a simple calcification of the eardrum
There are types such as myringosclerosis, tympanosclerosis that can completely immobilize the middle ear ossicles, otosclerosis that progresses to the inner ear or occurs directly adjacent to the inner ear. Although calcification is named according to the area in the ear, it mostly occurs in the middle ear. Common symptoms of ear calcifications are tinnitus and hearing loss.
One in 10 People May Have Ear Calcification
Otosclerosis, the most common type of ear calcification, can be seen in one out of every 10 people. It gives symptoms such as ear calcification, hearing loss and tinnitus, which are more common in women and people with a genetic background and are more likely to occur with previous pregnancies. Sometimes patients may not even be aware of hearing loss due to the discomfort caused by severe tinnitus.
Eardrum Might Be Perforated
“Tympanosclerosis”, which can completely inactivate the middle ear ossicles, can be caused by previous middle ear diseases and infections. Sometimes, this disease, in which the eardrum is perforated, can lead to calcification in the hammer, anvil and stirrup bones. Even if there is a hole in the eardrum, patients may be unaware of the hole in the eardrum, since there are generally no recurrent ear discharges. While ear discharge in classical otitis media, there may be less or no discharge in patients with tympanosclerosis. Hearing loss is more common than a simple eardrum perforation.
Inner Ear Prosthesis Can Be Applied in Treatment
In ear calcifications, first of all, physical examination, hearing test and, if necessary, radiological examinations are performed. Then, the treatment is planned according to the condition of the calcification. Myringosclerosis, which does not cause any damage to the eardrum; that is, no surgical intervention is performed in simple eardrum calcifications. In the type called tympanosclerosis and affecting the middle ear ossicles, surgery is performed according to the calcification status of the hammer, anvil and stirrup bones. Affected ossicles are detected and removed during the operation, and hearing is brought back to normal levels with appropriate middle ear prostheses. These prostheses can be titanium, fluoroplastic, Teflon or Teflon fluoroplastic. Which one is preferred is determined by the place and purpose of use.
Calcification should be intervened before it progresses to the inner ear
The treatment of otosclerosis, which is a special type of ear calcification, is divided into early and late stages. In the early period, calcification is not yet fully formed. In this period, also known as the soft stage, the patient can be given tablets containing sodium fluoride to slow the progression of the disease. However, in cases where calcification progresses and is known as the late stage, the treatment method is surgery. In the operation performed under general or local anesthesia, the calcified ossicle is removed and a piston is placed in its place. Sometimes otosclerosis can go as far as inner ear calcification. In case the calcification goes to the inner ear, hearing loss may become irreparable even if surgery is performed. Because as the calcification progresses to the inner ear, the patient’s nervous hearing loss begins. It is important to provide early treatment for this.
After the operation, it is sufficient for the patients to rest for two days. However, the first three or even six months following the surgery are important. During this period, the patient should avoid situations such as heavy lifting, straining, diving or airplane travel that will cause positive pressure in the ear. In such patients, otosclerosis is more likely to occur in both ears. After the surgery, the hearing of the patients immediately improves, and in parallel with this, the tinnitus they hear decreases or even disappears. Patients can leave the hearing aids they had to use before and the problems they bring and return to their normal lives.