Symptoms of acoustic neuroma vary from person to person. They may include:
Hearing loss in one ear, which may happen suddenly or develop slowly. Tinnitus (ringing sound) in one ear feeling of fullness in one ear, Dizziness, balance problems or unsteadiness (rare). The symptoms often develop slowly, and they often are mistaken for normal changes of aging.
You should see your doctor if you have:
Any type of hearing loss or change ringing in one ear that lasts for a couple of months or longer. These symptoms usually do not mean you have acoustic neuroma. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.
Acoustic neuroma or its treatment can cause hearing loss. TATA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL's comprehensive Audiology Service helps evaluate and manage this issue. Rehabilitation services include conventional hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) or contralateral routing of sound hearing aids (CROS).
Occasionally patients develop additional challenges after treatment for acoustic neuroma, such as facial paralysis or imbalance. Consulting physicians in ophthalmology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and rehabilitation medicine are available to help manage these issues.
In addition, many other experts may be part of your team, including:
Oculoplastic surgeons for management of eye complications
Physical therapists for balance problems
Speech and swallowing experts
Bilateral acoustic neuroma is a sign of a rare inherited disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). We offer complete genetic testing and counseling to help determine your risk.
As one of the nation's top research institutions, TATA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL is investigating new ways to treat acoustic neuroma, especially for patients with NF2.
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Hearing loss may be discovered during routine hearing tests. If this happens, a type of hearing test called an audiogram should be done to evaluate the hearing in both ears.
If you have symptoms that may signal acoustic neuroma, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about your health.
Acoustic neuromas are diagnosed with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans.
Getting a Second Opinion physicians at TATA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL are highly specialized in diagnosing and treating acoustic neuromas. We welcome the opportunity to provide second opinions for acoustic neuromas.
Our Treatment Approach If you are diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. This depends on several factors, including:
The size and location of the tumor Your age Your general health Your hearing Your preference Your treatment for acoustic neuroma will be customized to your particular needs. One or more of the following therapies may be recommended.
Surgery: Like all surgeries, acoustic neuroma surgery is most successful with performed by a specialist with a great deal of experience in the particular procedure. TATA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL’s surgeons are among the most experienced in the nation in surgery to treat acoustic neuromas.
Surgery for acoustic neuromas is complex and delicate, and it requires a team of experts from several specialties. Surgical approaches include:
Through the mastoid bone (translabyrinthine) Behind the ear (retrosigmoid) Above the ear (middle fossa) Your physician will recommend the best type of surgery for your specific condition. Hearing preservation approaches are available for some carefully selected patients.
Observation with serial imaging: Sometimes called watchful waiting, this approach may be used for some patients with slow-growing tumors. It includes careful observation and periodic MRIs.
Acoustic Neuroma Screening Screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re at risk but don’t have symptoms. They help find disease at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are highest.
While there are no routine screening tests for acoustic neuroma, you should ask your doctor if regular hearing tests are recommended.
Acoustic Neuroma Risk Factors The cause of acoustic neuroma is not known. Neurofibromatosis type 2, a genetic disorder, can lead to acoustic neuroma formation in a small number of cases.
If you are concerned about this inherited family syndrome, we offer advanced genetic testing to let you know your risk.
Although there are theories that exposure to loud noise, head and neck radiation, or use of cellular phones may increase likelihood of acoustic neuromas, none of these have been scientifically proven.
Acoustic Neuroma Prevention Since the causes of acoustic neuroma are not known, there are no known ways to prevent it.
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