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Acoustic neuroma: causes, symptoms, treatment and complications

 Acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous tumor that grows on the nerve that connects the brain and the ear. Because these tumors are benign, they do not spread to other parts of the body. But even so, it can grow large enough to damage important nerves.


Causes and risk factors for infection

A parent with genetic neurofibromatosis 2 is the main cause of acoustic neuroma. Most of these tumors may also appear spontaneously, in other words, they may occur in people who do not have a family history of the disease.

Some of the risk factors may also include:

  • loud noise.
  • Thyroid neuroma is a benign tumor of the thyroid gland.
  • Exposure to low levels of radiation during childhood.

Symptoms of acoustic neuroma

Small neuromas rarely have symptoms. Symptoms usually only appear when the tumor becomes large enough to press on surrounding nerves.

One of the most common symptoms is the gradual loss of hearing on one side of the head. This hearing loss usually occurs slowly over time, but it can also start very suddenly. The most common symptoms include:

  • lightheadedness or dizziness;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • Facial numbness.
  • Weakness in the face.
  • Balance problems.

Some of the less common symptoms include:

  • headache;
  • vision problems;
  • Difficulty understanding speech.
  • Face or ear pain.
  • Numbness in the face or ear.
  • Tired.

Diagnosis

If you experience hearing loss or other neurological symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your doctor immediately. A doctor can diagnose this tumor with the following diagnostic tests:

  • Know your symptoms.
  • Hearing test.

Auditory response tests in the brainstem that check the functions of the nervous and auditory systems.

Electronystagmus: detects changes in eye movement that may be caused by problems with the inner ear.

MRI and CT scan.

acoustic neuroma treatment

Treatment for a tumor depends on many factors, such as your age, your general health, the size of the tumor, and the type of treatment used. But it is one of the tumors that need to receive treatment, because delayed treatment may lead to the accumulation of fluid inside the brain, or what is known as hydrocephalus.

To treat a tumor, a doctor may recommend the following treatments:

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery: Radiation is applied to a small, specific area of ​​your head. However, it is a very slow treatment, as it can take months or years for a tumor to clear up. That's why this procedure is usually used only for very small tumors.
  • Surgery may be necessary if the tumor is very large or growing rapidly. You may also need surgery if the tumor begins to spread

From a vital part of the brain. During surgery, the tumor can be removed either through the skull or through the ear itself.

But this surgery can have many complications and risks, such as:

  • Complete hearing loss.
  • Weakness of facial muscles.
  • ringing in the ears;
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak.
  • Balance problems.
  • Constant headache.

Therefore, if you feel an impact on your hearing or suffer from persistent ringing in the ears, do not hesitate to consult a doctor immediately.

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