This is not a good day to start up a week….. a long overdue visit to ENT specialist and followed by dentist burned a big hole in my pocket; An apology to RAGM will definitely tint the Ban cyanide in gold mining future campaign; No one is taking any action in writing the thank you letter and reconcile the fundraising account; I am still unable to complete the audit reports; I need to postpone my work schedule and office plans due to toothaches and headaches; and my weak gum and decayed tooth that need special treatment is my next burning health issue……..
One “good news” is I don’t need a hearing aid at this moment. According to Dr Sudha (a very nice and energetic doctor in Taiping), my outer ears and inner ears are in healthy condition based on the endoscope checks.
Not so good news is, the hearing test confirmed I have a conductive type loss called Otosclerosis, where my third ear bone in the middle ear is hardened (mainly due to calcium) and eventually restricted the movement (and hearing).
Otosclerosis is a common cause of hearing impairment. (The word otosclerosis can be broken into its two medical words: “oto” for ear, and “sclerosis” meaning hardening.) Approximately 5% of all people with hearing impairment have otosclerosis.
Otosclerosis is an abnormal growth of bone. The abnormal bone growth of otosclerosis may spread to the inner ear, stapes (the third ear bone), or to both of these areas.
The abnormal otosclerotic bone hardens around the stapes and eventually stops the movement of the stapes (According to Dr Sudha description, the stapes just like a door, it can’t open anymore if the hinges get rusted due to calcium accumulation) . The immobile stapes cannot carry sound vibrations to the inner ear. Therefore a conductive hearing loss develops.
The conductive type of otosclerosis usually progresses up by age to a maximum in the 30’s. After this, it rarely progresses. Dizziness and imbalance is a feature of otosclerosis in roughly 25% of cases. In about half of all patients, there is a family history of similar problems. Women are affected twice as often as men.
There is no local treatment to the ear itself or any medication that will improve the hearing in persons with otosclerosis.
This condition can occur in small children and in older adults. There is nothing a person can do to prevent this from occurring. Conversely, there is nothing that anyone did through negligence or otherwise that would cause this to occur.
Therefore the only thing I can do now is monitor the condition by performing the hearing test yearly and do more physical exercise (exercise can increase the airflow and loosen up the hardening bone eventually). A hearing aid can be effective in treating the hearing loss, all depending on my future hearing condition and otosclerosis development.
During the doctor visit, we discussed about my medical conditions, including a weak gum / gum Inflammation, dry eyes and protruded eyes, thyroid disease etc. Seems the radioactive iodine treatment can cause dry eyes, protruded eyes, autoimmunity and other health issues (Dr Sudha is a surgeon who think surgery is a much straight forward treatment than RAI). A recent systematic review concluded that more evidence is necessary to link otosclerosis and autoimmunity :(