An acoustic neuroma is a tumor of the eighth cranial nerve, which stretches from the brain to the inner ear. This nerve has two parts: one carries sound, and the other carries information about balance. Therefore, acoustic neuromas often affect hearing and balance. Acoustic neuromas are benign, or noncancerous, and they usually grow slowly. They may also be known as auditory nerve tumors, vestibular schwannomas, or eighth nerve tumors.
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Johns Hopkins Medicine answered
An acoustic neuroma is a rare, usually slow-growing tumor of the inner ear, specifically of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain (the hearing nerve). Despite usually being benign, an acoustic neuroma that grows and is not treated can severely affect neurological function and become life-threatening.
An acoustic neuroma is also called vestibular schwannoma, neurinoma, or neurilemmoma.
This type of brain tumor develops in the eighth cranial nerve, which controls hearing and balance and is located in the inner ear near the back of the skull. One part of the eighth cranial nerve transmits sound and the other part sends balance information to the brain from the inner ear. It is one of the 12 cranial nerves that originate in the brainstem.
About 5 percent of all primary brain tumors are acoustic neuromas.
Usually slow-growing, the acoustic neuroma tumor develops on the nerves the affect of balance and hearing. While it is noncancerous, this tumor can affect a person's hearing and balance abilities. In nearly all cases, these tumors affect only one side of the brain. However, some people develop acoustic neuromas that affect both sides, a rare condition known as neurofibromatosis type 2. This condition affects the nervous system and causes tumors to develop.
Physicians develop individualized treatment plans for each patient diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma. With a small tumor, doctors may recommend watchful waiting, and additional treatment may not be necessary. If the tumor increases in size and affects hearing, it may require full or partial removal to preserve hearing and facial nerve function.Some patients with acoustic neuroma are candidates for Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery. The Gamma Knife delivers precise doses of radiation to destroy the tumor, without harming adjacent tissue or blood vessels. The Gamma Knife is a particularly beneficial alternative to traditional, open surgery for the treatment of acoustic neuroma.
An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous growth or tumor on the auditory nerve near the inner ear. The auditory nerve carries sound impulses from the ear to the brain.
An acoustic neuroma grows slowly and can cause hearing loss in the affected ear. Although the growth is not cancerous, it can press on other nerves or brain tissues as it grows.
Symptoms of acoustic neuroma may include:
- Hearing loss (usually in just one ear).
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Numbness or weakness of one side of the face.
- Trouble standing or walking because of unsteadiness or vertigo.
Acoustic neuroma is not common; it most often occurs in people ages 30 to 50. The cause is unknown. Acoustic neuromas may be removed with surgery if symptoms are severe, in order to prevent damage to other nerves or brain tissues.
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David Vernick, Otolaryngology, answeredA benign growth on the balance nerve in the inner ear, acoustic neuroma is the most common type of nerve tumor affecting this area. A study published in 2010 found that about one in 100,000 people per year develops an acoustic neuroma. It affects mostly Caucasian people and usually appears between the ages of 50 and 64. Acoustic neuroma usually makes itself known with hearing loss resulting from pressure on the auditory nerve. Although it is not malignant, an acoustic neuroma can cause serious problems or death if it becomes big enough to press on the brain. Treatment options include surgery or radiation. The decision over which option is best depends on the size of the tumor and the age of the patient. Most smaller tumors are just observed initially because many will never grow.
An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that originates from the nerves of hearing and balance and grows in the space between the ear and the brain. It usually presents with hearing loss in one ear, but an MRI can discover smaller tumors before they cause any symptoms. Acoustic neuromas can be treated by surgery, stereotactic radiation therapy, or simply followed with serial MRIs. With proper treatment, the vast majority of our patients have had excellent outcomes.
Acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that arises from the nerves of hearing and balance and grows in the space between the ear and the brain. These tumors usually present with hearing loss in one ear, but with the advent of MRI scanning smaller tumors are discovered before they cause any symptoms. Acoustic neuromas can be treated by surgery, stereotactic radiation therapy, or can sometimes be simply followed with serial MRI. With proper treatment selection, the vast majority of patients have excellent outcomes.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.