In the vocabulary of the otologist there are few words the meaning of which is so commonly misunderstood as that of otosclerosis. As one pages through the volumes of literature on otosclerosis one is frequently at a loss to know what the author wishes to convey by the term. So loosely is the term otosclerosis used that in one breath an author may refer to a clinical complex and in another to a histopathologic change in the otic capsule.
From a clinical point of view the term otosclerosis refers to one form of progressive hardness of hearing, in which, according to standard textbooks, the malady shows:
Onset in youth, of hereditary or familial character and progressive, and often bilateral, involvement.
Prolonged bone conduction.
Early loss of low tone perception.
Negative Rinne reaction.
Essentially normal condition of other structures, such as pneumatic spaces, the tympanic membrane