Acoustic neuroma

Also known as: Vestibular schwanoma, Neurolemmoma
An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous (benign) tumor found on the eighth cranial nerve near the ear canal. This nerve is responsible for hearing and balance. An acoustic neuroma is a slow-growing tumor. Hearing loss and ringing in the affected ear is one of the first signs. The cause is generally unknown for most tumors, but may be genetically linked in a small population. It is commonly diagnosed between ages 30 and 60.

Common symptoms
The diagnosis of acoustic neuroma patients is normally delayed because some of the symptoms might be confused with normal aging. Common symptoms include:
  • Progressive hearing loss (in one ear or both)
  • Feeling fullness or ringing in the affected ear
  • Vertigo (dizziness, etc.)
If left untreated, acoustic neuromas can cause permanent hearing loss. As the tumor grows, it compromises adjacent structures and can also cause the following symptoms:
  • Facial twitching, numbness and weakness
  • Headaches, clumsy gait, mental confusion
  • Unsteadiness and balance problems
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