People often think of hearing loss as being something older people get, but there’s one middle ear condition – otosclerosis – that can develop in your teens and young adulthood, and where pregnancy is even a risk factor.
What causes otosclerosis?
Otosclerosis isn’t a common hearing condition. About one or two people in 100 develop it, but it tends to develop between the ages of 15 and 35. It’s caused when the stapes, the smallest bone in the body but one which is vital to our hearing, gets fixed to the surrounding structure and stops vibrating. Because it’s no longer moving, the stapes stops transmitting sound to the inner ear, so it’s much harder for the person to hear clearly. Sufferers may notice gradual hearing loss at lower pitches as well as tinnitus and/or dizziness.
While pregnancy is a risk factor, race, gender and age do play a part, with white women being more at risk. There’s also a genetic risk: if one of your parents had the condition, you’re 25 per cent more likely to develop the disorder. Total hearing loss is rare and surgery, where the stapes is removed and replaced with a prosthesis, has good results in most cases.
Here for you
It’s important to look after your hearing at any age. So if you’re a younger person and you’ve noticed your hearing isn’t what it was, or perhaps you’re pregnant, or have recently been pregnant, and you’ve noticed hearing changes, please contact us at The Hearing Clinic.
We’ll arrange a hearing test for you and get you on the way to brighter hearing.