Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) Disease Treatment, Symptoms

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Top 51+ Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) Disease Treatment, Symptoms Lists & Check Prices & Reviews

An acoustic neuroma is a type of non-cancerous (benign) brain tumour. It's also known as a vestibular schwannoma.

A benign brain tumour is a growth in the brain that usually grows slowly over many years and does not spread to other parts of the body.

Acoustic neuromas grow on the nerve used for hearing and balance, which can cause problems such as hearing loss and unsteadiness.

They can sometimes be serious if they become very large, but most are picked up and treated before they reach this stage.

Acoustic neuromas tend to affect adults aged 30 to 60 and usually have no obvious cause, although a small number of cases are the result of a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).

Symptoms of an acoustic neuroma

An acoustic neuroma may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.

Any symptoms tend to develop gradually and often include:

  • hearing loss that usually only affects 1 ear
  • hearing sounds that come from inside the body (tinnitus)
  • the sensation that you're moving or spinning (vertigo)

A large acoustic neuroma can also sometimes cause:

  1. persistent headaches
  2. temporary blurred or double vision
  3. numbness, pain or weakness on 1 side of the face
  4. problems with limb co-ordination (ataxia) on 1 side of the body
  5. a hoarse voice or difficulty swallowing

Getting medical advice

See your GP if you have persistent or troublesome symptoms that you're worried could be caused by an acoustic neuroma.

Acoustic neuromas can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be caused by other conditions, such as Ménière's disease.

If your GP thinks you could have an acoustic neuroma, you'll be referred to a hospital or clinic for further tests, such as:

hearing tests to check for hearing problems and determine whether they're caused by a problem with your nerves

an MRI scan, which uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a detailed picture of the inside of your head

a CT scan, which uses a series of X-rays to create a detailed image of the inside of your head

Treatments for acoustic neuromas

There are several different treatment options for an acoustic neuroma, depending on the size and position of your tumour, how fast it's growing and your general health.

The main options are:

  • monitoring the tumour – small tumours often just need to be monitored with regular MRI scans, and the treatments below are generally only recommended if scans show it's getting bigger
  • brain surgery – surgery to remove the tumour through a cut in the skull may be carried out under general anaesthetic if it's large or getting bigger
  • stereotactic radiosurgery – small tumours, or any pieces of a larger tumour that remain after surgery, may be treated with a precise beam of radiation to stop them getting any bigger
  • All these options carry some risks. For example, surgery and radiosurgery can sometimes cause facial numbness or an inability to move part of your face (paralysis).
  • Speak to your specialist about the best option for you and what the benefits and risks are.

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Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) Disease Treatment, Symptoms

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