Acoustic Neuroma: Symptoms and Solutions

An acoustic neuroma is a type of tumor that develops near the inner ear, affecting hearing and balance. These tumors are non-cancerous and usually grow slowly over many years. If they are given the opportunity to become too large, they can eventually put pressure on the brain, thus affecting many nerves that are necessary for healthy brain function.

What Causes Acoustic Neuroma?

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Acoustic neuromas may be caused by various factors. They are not considered to be hereditary, but there is a disease that can lead to their development called NF2, which is passed through genetics. Another reason they may form is if a person’s body does not possess a strong ability to fight off tumors, thus allowing their growth to progress more rapidly. Too much contact with various types of radiation and frequent exposure to loud noises have both been linked with acquiring an acoustic neuroma.

What Are The Symptoms Of Acoustic Neuroma?

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There are many symptoms associated with an acoustic neuroma. It is important to note that the intensity of one’s symptoms has nothing to do with how large the tumor is. Smaller ones can cause symptoms just as strong as larger ones. One of these symptoms is hearing loss, which typically occurs on one side and could be sudden or gradual. Hearing a ringing sound may also be an indicator and sometimes facial numbness will occur. Since ears play a significant role in the body’s ability to balance, a person with an acoustic neuroma will likely feel unsteady or dizzy on a regular basis.

How Is Acoustic Neuroma Treated?

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Many different options are available for treating an acoustic neuroma. These options are based on the size of the tumor and how rapidly it is growing. If it is small and does not seem to be getting any bigger, it may be suggested to only monitor it and see how it progresses over time. Otherwise, there are types of radiation that can be used to try and stop the growth of the acoustic neuroma. This often takes time and may come with negative side effects, such as hearing loss or balancing issues. In other cases, surgery is the best option. The doctor will try to remove the tumor while causing as little damage as possible to the ear and facial nerves.

Seek Help If Needed

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Facing an acoustic neuroma can disrupt one’s daily routine in a significant way and adjustments in life will need to be made should a person become diagnosed. When dealing with balancing issues or facial numbness, completing day-to-day activities may quickly become frustrating. Request help if needed and seek out support, whether it is from friends and family or from others going through the same thing.

Ask Questions And Stay Well-Informed

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Do not hesitate to ask your family doctor or another medical professional for more information on this condition. Asking questions and staying educated on other possible treatment options is always a good way to cope and remain well-informed. Knowing what may come and how to approach different scenarios is best for staying healthy and mentally prepared while fighting this life-changing condition.