Acoustic neuroma is a slow-growing tumor that is diagnosed in a large percentage of the population every year. Majorly people who are diagnosed with such a condition are found ranging between the age group of 30 to 60 years.
Diagnosing such a condition becomes difficult as the tumor grows at a very slow pace. It is advised to consult an expert neurologist as soon as you start experiencing any Acoustic neuroma symptoms. He will carry various vertigo tests to identify the severity of the condition and would suggest the right Acoustic neuroma treatment. If the case turns out to be severe, he may even suggest Acoustic neuroma surgery to the patients for early recovery.
To know more about Acoustic neuroma, its symptoms, causes, and treatment read on.
What is Acoustic Neuroma?
Acoustic neuroma is referred to as the condition when a slow-growing non-cancerous tumor develops from the sheath coating of the vestibular nerve, thus resulting in making a person feel dizzy. It is even known as vestibular schwannomas or neurolemmomas neurologically.
An inner ear consists of the vestibular nerves. They are responsible for sending sensory signals from the inner ear to the brain that regulates the balance of the body and is responsible for hearing as well.
Any blockage or inflammation in the vestibular system results in making a person feel disoriented and experience the sudden bouts of dizzy spells. It can even result in affecting the hearing ability of the person resulting in tinnitus (ringing sensations in the affected ear). If the case turns out to be severe, it may even result in the loss of permanent hearing ability.
The symptoms of Acoustic neuromas start appearing quite suddenly whereas the tumor grows slowly in the later stage. It does not spread in other parts of the body but can be life-threatening for some patients. Acoustic tumors press the cranial nerves as well. Cranial nerves are responsible for controlling the muscles of facial expression and sensation. If a person suffering from Acoustic neuromas is experiencing large tumors, it affects the brain stem or cerebellum by exerting pressure. Let’s have a look at some of the most common symptoms of Acoustic neuroma that call for seeking expert medical advice. Let’s get started!
Most common symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic Neuroma comes with various early symptoms let’s have a look at some:
Hearing loss in either of the ears
Hearing loss in one ear is one of the early symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma. Some people find it difficult to understand the speech while others are unable to understand high pitched voices and tones. A person suffering from hearing loss due to brain tumor does not show any improvement in hearing on raising the voice.
A ringing, hissing, whistling, humming or roaring sensation in the inner ear is known as tinnitus. It can affect both or either of the one ear. It is one of the symptoms that indicates a person is suffering from an Acoustic tumor.
A feeling of fullness in the ears is another symptom that can be an indication of a severe condition such as a tumor in the vestibular nerve.
Vertigo spells or bouts of dizziness
A sensation of spinning known as vertigo is another symptom that starts appearing as soon as a person develops an acoustic tumor and enters in the later stage. The blockage in the vestibular nerve results in interrupting the sensory signals sent from the inner ear to the brain that regulates the balance of the body, thus resulting in making a person feel disoriented and experience sudden bouts of vertigo dizziness.
Apart from it, various other symptoms such as Facial numbness, weakness, a feeling of tingling on the face, difficulty in swallowing, headaches, clumsiness, confusion, and difficulty in maintaining body balance are some other symptoms that indicate an onset of Acoustic neuroma. In a very rare case, patients experience a loss of hearing suddenly.
If the case turns out to be intense and one has entered the last stage, patients start experiencing a change in taste and change in voice. It is advised to seek medical help immediately as soon as you start observing any symptoms. An expert neurologist will carry various vertigo tests if you are experiencing severe vertigo spells and would suggest the best vertigo treatment. To confirm the Acoustic tumor, the neurologist will recommend hearing tests and MRI scans to determine the growth of the tumor. He would suggest the right Acoustic tumor treatment accordingly.
How is Acoustic Neuroma diagnosed and treated?
Once you visit an expert neurologist to get yourself diagnosed for Acoustic Neuroma, your doctor will carry various tests such as Videonystagmography (VNG), Audiometry, MRI scans, etc. for examining the underlying condition and to determine the size of the tumor. Once you are diagnosed right, getting the right treatment becomes much easier.
If the size of the tumor is not large, doctors may recommend not taking any action and wait for a while, the case is rare though.
The acoustic neuroma treatment suggested by doctors depends on the growth, location, position, and size of the tumor.
Let’s have a look at three modes of Acoustic Neuroma treatment:
Monitoring the growth of the tumor
The growth of acoustic tumors is very slow and takes time to get larger. If you are diagnosed with such a tumor and the size is small, then doctors will suggest keeping a watchful eye. Your doctor will observe the size of the tumor by carrying out various MRI scans. If the tumor enlarges, then a doctor may recommend Acoustic neuroma surgery or radiotherapy as the Acoustic neuroma treatment.
Brain surgery is another Acoustic neuroma treatment
Acoustic neuroma surgery is the most popular and effective treatment of Acoustic neuroma for treating the tumor. A doctor generally suggests brain surgery as the best option to treat such a condition.
With the latest advancements in technology, Acoustic neuroma surgery is widely practiced and heals the patient well. Nowadays, with nerve stimulation nerve damage is limited to a greater extent.
If tumors are causing symptoms of compression, then a doctor may suggest radiation therapy.
It emits radiation that helps in destroying tumors without affecting the brain. With radiation therapy, doctors can shrink the size of the tumor. It is generally advised when Acoustic neuroma surgery fails to decrease the size of the Acoustic tumor.
Slight negligence on your part makes the symptoms intense. Consult a doctor immediately as soon as you start observing any Acoustic symptoms and get yourself diagnosed to get the right Acoustic neuroma treatment. Make health your priority!