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Acoustic Neuroma - Symptoms and Treatment

An acoustic neuroma is a benign , noncancerous, often slow-growing tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain (8th cranial or auditory) nerve. The term "acoustic neuroma" is actually a misnomer since the tumor never arises from the acoustic division of the vestibulocochlear nerve and the tumor is not a neuroma but a schwannoma. Also known as vestibular schwannoma, acoustic neuroma is one of the most common types of brain tumors. However, these tumors are rare, occurring in about one person in 100,000. The signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma, including hearing loss, develop from the tumor pressing on the hearing portion of the eighth nerve. The tumor also may press on the brainstem. In rare cases, an acoustic neuroma may grow large enough to compress the brainstem and be life-threatening. Acoustic neuromas are most common in people aged between 30 and 60.

An acoustic neuroma, otherwise known as a vestibular schwannoma, is a benign tumor arising of the balance portion of the nerve that runs from the inner ear to the brain. Other names for this type of tumour include 'vestibular schwannoma' and 'neurinoma'. It is understood that an acoustic neuroma begins in the cells that line one of the cranial nerves. For unknown reasons, these cells (known as 'schwann cells') multiply out of control and form a tumour. Eventually, larger tumours may involve other structures, including the brain stem. In its earlier stages, an acoustic neuroma can present similar symptoms to other, less serious conditions. Acoustic neuromas account for about eight in each 100 primary brain tumours. They are most likely to be found in middle-aged adults. For unknown reasons they are more common in women than men. Acoustic neuromas are found in people with type II neurofibromatosis.

Symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma

Some common Symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma :

  • Hearing loss in the affected ear.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Tinnitus (ringing) in the affected ear.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Facial numbness and tingling.

Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma

  • Microsurgery techniques are used to remove the tumour. However, side effects can include loss of hearing, and facial nerve damage.



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