Acoustic neuroma: A slow-growing tumor that requires specialized care

An acoustic neuroma, also known as a vestibular schwannoma, is a tumor of the hearing and balance nerve complex in the brain. They are rare, and account for less than 10% of all brain tumors. The tumor involves an area of the brain and ear called the lateral skull base; an acoustic neuroma can range in size, and it can cause a variety of troublesome symptoms related to hearing and balance. It is important to note that although the diagnosis of a brain tumor can cause significant anxiety, acoustic neuromas are noncancerous and grow very slowly. This means that immediate treatment is rarely necessary. What are the most common symptoms? Acoustic neuromas can cause you to experience a variety of symptoms. In general, the first thing you may notice is hearing loss in one ear greater than the other, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and/or dizziness or imbalance (acute or chronic). These symptoms can range from mild to very distressing and bothersome. It is important to note that these symptoms are not related to the size of the tumor. Some people can have a very small tumor with significant hearing loss and imbalance, while other people can have very large tumors with few symptoms. If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, you should seek the attention of your physician. How are acoustic neuromas diagnosed? If symptoms of hearing loss, tinnitus, or imbalance are present, you will likely be referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) for evaluation. Commonly, wi...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Brain and cognitive health Ear, nose, and throat Hearing Loss Radiation Source Type: blogs