Acoustic neuromas are noncancerous tumors. These tumors grow on the branches of the cranial nerves. Those who experience them may also notate a difference in their ability to hear. Understanding the symptoms can be the first stage in seeking out an active diagnosis.
Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms
It’s important to note that 95% of patients who have an acoustic neuroma will have it affect only one side. Only in rare cases of a genetic mutation will an acoustic neuroma occur on both sides of the body. For patients that experience these noncancerous tumors, there are a variety of symptoms. These include:
- One-sided hearing loss
- Ear fullness
- Balance issues / vertigo
- Facial numbness / twitching
- Swallowing problems
- Head pressure / headache
- Change in taste
- Alteration in tear production
As you can see, the symptoms of this condition can vary. There are various senses that run through the cranial nerve branches. This means that patients can experience a multitude of sensory issues. One of the most common is a problem with the sense of hearing.
Diagnosing Acoustic Neuroma
When it comes to diagnosing acoustic neuroma, it can be more in-depth than other diagnoses. Many of the symptoms of this condition happen with inner and middle ear conditions. Getting an accurate diagnosis starts with getting a thorough examination.
There are some specific hearing loss tests that you’ll undergo. These include pure tone average, speech reception threshold, speech discrimination, and more. If your audiologist thinks that you have an acoustic neuroma, they will recommend an MRI. This can further help in the diagnosis of this condition.
When it comes to treating acoustic neuromas, there are three main options. First, they may prescribe you to undergo surgery to have the neuroma removed. Surgery can’t help a patient regain existing hearing loss. But, it can keep your hearing ability at the same level.
Another option is stereotactic radiosurgery. This is radiation shot into a precise area of the tumor. It helps to avoid coming into contact with any other areas of the brain. This option is only recommended as a course to slow or completely stop the growth of the tumor.
The last option is to observe. Since these tumors are very slow growing, they may not need immediate intervention. This holds especially true if there are no present symptoms of the condition.
Call Us Today
If you’re experiencing hearing loss attributed to an acoustic neuroma, then it’s time to give us a call. Let our hearing loss professionals assess your condition. We can help you to find the right treatment plan for your unique situation.