Acoustic Neuroma Treated at Karmanos

Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma

A vestibular schwannoma (also known as acoustic neuroma, acoustic neurinoma, or acoustic neurilemoma) is a benign, usually slow-growing tumor that develops from the balance and hearing nerves supplying the inner ear. The tumor comes from an overproduction of Schwann cells — the cells that normally wrap around nerve fibers like onion skin to help support and insulate nerves.

As the vestibular schwannoma grows, it affects the hearing and balance nerves, usually causing unilateral (one-sided) or asymmetric hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and dizziness/loss of balance. As the tumor grows, it can interfere with the face sensation nerve (the trigeminal nerve), causing facial numbness. Vestibular schwannomas can also affect the facial nerve (for the muscles of the face) causing facial weakness or paralysis on the side of the tumor. If the tumor becomes large, it will eventually press against nearby brain structures (such as the brainstem and the cerebellum), becoming life-threatening.

There are three options for managing a vestibular schwannoma: Surgical removal, radiation and observation.

Information from National Institutes of Health

Includes information about Acoustic Neuroma, causes, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

Learn More: NIH

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