Professional Musician Diagnosed With Otosclerosis

Greetings, I am a 51 year old professional cellist. I began noticing some problems with my hearing about a month ago, the main symptom being a strange distortion of sound from my right ear. It's a little like listening through a broken speaker. The worst part is that with some tones, especially in a certain range, I hear an extra tone that is not actually there. At first I thought there was something wrong with my cello, then realized this was happening in my own head! I had a cold at the time and have had problems with eustation tubes so thought that was the cause. I remember this happening on one or two notes a few years ago but it went away after a month or so. My cold is gone but the distortion has gotten much worse. I am learning to hear around the extra sound but it's not peasant. I also am experiencing a strange fluttering spasm in the ear. I went to an ENT last week and had a thorough hearing test and ear exam. Although I have conductive hearing loss in the right ear, the doctor couldn't see any problems such as excess wax or fluid, and he diagnosed me with otosclerosis in the right ear. I've read as much about the disease as I could find on line but haven't found any mention of the distortion, extra tones, or fluttering in relation to otosclerosis. Maybe they are unrelated, or maybe I am more aware of the distortion because I'm a musician. I see another doctor tomorrow and will have a list of questions for him. I would be interested in hearing from anyone with similar experiences.
An Ep User An EP User
1 Response Jan 17, 2013

In 2006 I was with a friend hiking when I first realized I wasn't hearing as well as I used to. I wasn't hearing the sound of airplanes approaching at the moment when my friend would first hear the aircraft. Later I began to realize it was only low frequencies I had trouble with. During the forth of July, our independence day, another friend could hear the distant fireworks, but I couldn't. I spent the first few years in denial, partly because it seemed that I could hear some things things very well, yet other things not so well. Eventually, I realized I had hearing loss only for low frequencies.

For years I had meant to get an ear exam. I finally did a couple of weeks ago (Aug. of 2013). I wasn't surprised that I had hearing loss and that loss was in the low frequency range. But, finding out that I have otosclerosis was a surprise.


I have recently noticed distortion in my right ear. Usually I hear this when I am changing elevation (maybe about 1000 ft) - which occurs when I'm in the car driving to a particular city. As I climb to higher elevation the sound of my girlfriend's voice will get noticeably distorted in my right ear. Once or twice I thought I heard the same distortion in the same ear without having to subject my ears to the pressure difference. Although I did not read anything about otosclerosis being the cause of distortion in the ear I do feel this is the cause. It makes sense to me.