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Definition: hearing loss from fixation of the third ear bone, the stapes.  It is hereditary, meaning there is usually a family member with the same type hearing loss.

Symptoms/causes: a progressive hearing loss in one or both ears, sometimes with ringing.  It usually does not start before the age of 18, and the white female is the most common person to have this hearing loss. The hearing loss can start anywhere from 20 - 40 years old.

Possible course of treatment: after a careful ear exam and hearing testing, the only options are doing nothing, or wearing a hearing aid or surgery, namely a stapedectomy, where the third ear bone is removed and replaced by a wire that is fit from the second ear bone into opening where the third ear bone was. Surgery is very successful.

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