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Acoustic Neuroma

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

Summary

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

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
  • (Acoustic Neuroma Association)

Symptoms

  • (Acoustic Neuroma Association)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (Harvard Medical School)
  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (Acoustic Neuroma Association)
  • Video (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (International Radiosurgery Support Association)
  • (Acoustic Neuroma Association)

Related Issues

  • (Acoustic Neuroma Association)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Health Check Tools

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (Acoustic Neuroma Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Patient Handouts

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