Also called: Acoustic neurilemoma, Acoustic neurinoma, Auditory tumor, Vestibular schwannoma.
Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous (benign) tumor that develops on one of the nerves that connects the ear to the brain. The tumor usually grows slowly. As it gets larger, it presses against the nerves involved with hearing and balance. At first, there may be no symptoms or only mild symptoms, including:
- Loss of hearing on one side
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Dizziness and balance problems
- Facial numbness
How is an Acoustic Neuroma diagnosed?
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Audiogram (evaluates hearing loss)
AcousticNeuroma can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similarto those of middle ear disorders. An Acoustic Neuroma is usuallydiagnosed with an MRI scan.
What treatments are available for acoustic neuroma?
If the Acoustic Neuroma is very small and does not cause any hearingloss or neurological symptoms, the patient may be followed with routineimaging.
Several factorsimpact whether surgery is an option: the size of the tumor, where thetumor is positioned, patient’s hearing status, and the overall healthof the patient.
This procedure usesnarrow beams of radiation that are targeted specifically at the tumor.This highly focused and destructive dose of radiation is given in asingle session and avoids potentially harmful radiation to surroundingbrain structures. The NeuroTexas Institute currently utilizes GammaKnife technology
Learn more about the Brain Tumor Center at NeuroTexas Institute.
Information from the National Institutes of Health, November 2008