An acoustic neuroma is a tumor that forms from the covering of the eighth cranial nerve. This tumor is benign, is generally slow-growing and does not spread to other parts of the body.
What are the symptoms of acoustic neuroma?
The most common first symptom is hearing loss in the affected ear, which may often go unrecognized or mistaken as a normal aging-related development. As an acoustic neuroma enlarges, it may cause additional symptoms such as loss of balance, headache, unsteadiness, facial weakness, facial numbness and/or double vision.
What causes acoustic neuromas?
The cause is unknown. Acoustic neuromas can be sporadic or caused by an inherited condition called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF-2) (also known as von Recklinghausen’s disease). Acoustic neuromas have a 5 percent association with von Recklinghausens’s disease (NF-2), a rare disease characterized by multiple tumors in various sites, especially the skin, which can cause bilateral acoustic tumors.
Who is affected?
Acoustic neuromas affect about 10 people in one million. More women than men are affected; they are usually diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60 years.
How is an acoustic neuroma treated?
Because the complexity of treatment increases with the size of the tumor, early recognition, diagnosis and treatment are essential.
Treatment options include: