The human body is complex, more intricate than we understand. In many cases, when someone experiences a particular health symptom, it could belie any number of maladies. In some instances, the root of the problem could be something minor, or could be life-threatening. Acoustic neuroma is one of those issues which may have minor effects but may become serious over time.
What Is Acoustic Neuroma?
An acoustic neuroma is a tumor that develops on the eighth cranial nerve connecting the ear to the brain. It is also known as a vestibular schwannoma or neurilemmoma. It is non-cancerous and very slow-growing, so symptoms are usually very mild at first. Acoustic neuromas have two types: one is sporadic, while the other relates to a syndrome called neurofibromatosis type II (NF2). NF2 is a hereditary syndrome involving the growth of noncancerous tumors on the nervous system.
Signs of Acoustic Neuroma
As mentioned, the signs of acoustic neuroma are mild at first and are common among many people of almost any age. For instance, one might experience a ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. One might also endure gradual hearing loss, which is common in adults of all ages. However, the more serious signs should always be a sign to you to see a doctor. They include:
- Facial numbness
- Facial weakness
- Trouble swallowing
- Hoarse throat
- Unusual clumsiness
- Changes in taste
- Unnatural confusion
Treatment for Acoustic Neuroma
If you experience any of those symptoms, it is worth checking out to see what’s wrong. This is a very slow-growing tumor, though, so it may have existed far longer than its symptoms. For this reason, one of the treatments for acoustic neuroma is observation, also known as watchful waiting. The doctor will routinely scan the tumor and suggest other treatment if necessary.
As for the types of surgeries that one can have, they include:
- Translabyrinthine: Cutting into the section behind the ear to get a clear view of the cranial nerve before removing the tumor. It is for larger tumors, and sadly involves permanent hearing loss.
- Retrosigmoid/sub occipital: The surgeon goes through the skull near the back of the head and preserves the hope of maintaining the patient’s hearing.
- Middle fossa: Access from above the ear canal to remove small tumors on the internal auditory canal.
For more information on the options, contact Clarity Audiology!
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.