Acoustic Neuroma

Also called: Acoustic neurilemmoma, Acoustic neurinoma, Auditory tumor, Vestibular schwannoma

An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that develops on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. The tumor usually grows slowly. As it grows, it presses against the hearing and balance nerves. At first, you may have no symptoms or mild symptoms. They can include

  • Loss of hearing on one side
  • Ringing in ears
  • Dizziness and balance problems

The tumor can also eventually cause numbness or paralysis of the face. If it grows large enough, it can press against the brain, becoming life-threatening.

Acoustic neuroma can be difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are similar to those of middle ear problems. Ear exams, hearing tests, and scans can show if you have it.

If the tumor stays small, you may only need to have it checked regularly. If you do need treatment, surgery and radiation are options.

If the tumors affect both hearing nerves, it is often because of a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders

Symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma

The following features are indicative of Acoustic Neuroma:
  • hearing loss
  • tinnitus
  • headaches
  • vertigo
  • trigeminal disturbances
  • dizziness
  • paralysis of the face
It is possible that Acoustic Neuroma shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Acoustic Neuroma

The following are the most common causes of Acoustic Neuroma:
  • sporadic defects in tumor suppressor genes
  • exposure to loud noise
  • patients with history of parathyroid adenoma

Risk Factors for Acoustic Neuroma

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Acoustic Neuroma:
  • history of noise exposure
  • smoking

Prevention of Acoustic Neuroma

No, it is not possible to prevent Acoustic Neuroma.
  • no known prevention

Occurrence of Acoustic Neuroma

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Acoustic Neuroma cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Acoustic Neuroma most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 35-50 years

Common Gender

Acoustic Neuroma can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Acoustic Neuroma

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Acoustic Neuroma:
  • Magnetic resonance imaging scans: To view the location and size of a tumor
  • Electronystagmography: To diagnose the cause of dizziness or balance dysfunction
  • Auditory brainstem responses: To determine the hearing and balance testing

Doctor for Diagnosis of Acoustic Neuroma

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma:
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Otorhinolaryngologist

Complications of Acoustic Neuroma if untreated

Yes, Acoustic Neuroma causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Acoustic Neuroma is left untreated:
  • damage the nerves that control facial movement
  • damage the nerves involved in hearing and balance
  • place pressure on nearby brain tissue
  • hydrocephalus

Procedures for Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma

The following procedures are used to treat Acoustic Neuroma:
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery: To stop the growth of a tumor
  • Surgery: To remove the tumor and preserve the facial nerve to prevent facial paralysis

Self-care for Acoustic Neuroma

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Acoustic Neuroma:
  • Avoid loud noise: Avoid exposure to loud noise
  • Prevent radiation exposure
  • Avoid cellular phones: Avoid excessive usage of cellular phones

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Acoustic Neuroma:
  • Gamma Knife radiosurgery: To treat sporadic unilateral acoustic neuromas

Patient Support for Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma

The following actions may help Acoustic Neuroma patients:
  • By educating about acoustic neuroma
  • By maintaining strong support system

Time for Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Acoustic Neuroma to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Acoustic Neuroma.

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