Acoustic neuroma refers to the gradual growth of tumor in the main nerve connecting the brain and inner ear and the tumor is noncancerous. You may suffer from various acoustic neuroma symptoms which affect the coordination in the body and various hearing problems. As the tumor grows inside the main nerve it affects your hearing ability, the symptoms may appear very slowly. When the tumor grows to a substantial size then it affects other vital functions of the brain. However, the symptoms appear in a long period of time because tumor grows very slowly in the nerve.
Researchers believe that a defect in the gene of a person causes the growth of tumor in the nerve. They do not know what causes the defect and another cause of acoustic neuroma is excessive exposure to harmful radiations. Acoustic neuroma is of two types one is caused due to syndrome called neurofibromatosis and another is the sporadic form. The acoustic neuroma symptoms generally appear after 30 years. Major symptoms which you may notice are listed below
Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms:
It is the first symptom which appears in the person. You may start losing hearing power gradually, it affects only one ear initially then it affects both the ears and if the tumors are too large then it may even cause complete deafness.
You may feel as if everything around you is spinning rapidly which may cause dizziness and even when you are still you will as if you are moving.
If the tumor grows to such extent that it starts affecting various functioning of the brain then you may suffer from eye related problems. Person sees blurred images, small dots in the vision field and might even complain of double vision.
It is a common acoustic neuroma symptom and is caused when the size of tumor increases to such extent that it causes pressure on the nerves which are responsible to maintain balance. You may fall down occasionally especially towards the side where tumor is present.
When the tumor affects the neighboring nerves responsible for sensation then it may cause numbness in different parts including the face. You may also feel a tingling effect in your face.
If you are having headache especially towards the side of ear in which you are having problem listening then the headache may be caused due to acoustic neuroma. As the size of tumor increases the pressure on the brain also increases causing intense headache especially in the part of brain where the tumor is located.
Person may hear a constant noise similar to ringing sound. Tinnitus can become very annoying for the person suffering from acoustic neuroma and may cause headache.
Early diagnosis of acoustic neuroma is very important because the tumor may cuase major brain damage resulting in more complex complications which can be difficult to treat. So if you notice any of the acoustic neuroma symptoms like problem in listening and ringing sound. Doctor may take a hearing test along with brainstem auditory evoked response and ENG test. CT scan and MRI scan are very useful to locate and get a estimate size of the tumor.
Acoustic neuroma can be treated by performing a surgery to remove the tumor. Modern techniques like stereotactic radiosurgery can stop the tumor from growing with the help of radiations.