What Is Acoustic Neuroma?

Acoustic Neuroma Phoenix, AZ

An acoustic neuroma is the short name for vestibular schwannoma. This brain condition is one that neurosurgeons tend to come across from time to time. While the term may sound familiar, not everyone knows exactly what it is. Continue reading to find out more. 

A quick guide to an acoustic neuroma

Below is an overview of what an acoustic neuroma is, including how it is caused and how a neurosurgeon may treat it. Reviewing this information can be helpful for sufferers.

Definition and symptoms

An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous tumor that tends to grow slowly in between the brain and the inner ear. This area is called the vestibular nerve, which is where the name vestibular schwannoma comes from. 

As far as symptoms of an acoustic neuroma go, it is often actually difficult to even notice at first. Many individuals go years without realizing that they even have an acoustic neuroma. However, when symptoms do arise, they tend to look like the following:

  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus, ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Facial numbness or muscle spasms 

Causes

The causes for acoustic neuroma vary, but generally speaking, most acoustic neuromas have no known causes. For the cases that do have apparent causes, neurosurgeons determine that it is a problem with a gene or chromosome 22. However, even most neurosurgeons and researchers do not know what causes the gene problem. Therefore, it is difficult to try and predict when an acoustic neuroma will arise. 

Treatment

Treating an acoustic neuroma may include a number of things depending on the severity. The neurosurgeon may start out small with treatment and gradually increase when necessary depending on how the tumor grows. Most commonly, acoustic neuromas are treated with regular monitoring and testing. Neurosurgeons may also use radiotherapy or radiation to help reduce the size of the tumor. Additionally, surgical removal may be required if the tumor begins to grow out of control. 

Other things to know

It is important to know that any type of brain condition can be scary to think or hear about; however, when it comes to acoustic neuromas, the majority of the time, neurosurgeons are able to just monitor them. Unlike other serious brain tumors, acoustic neuromas are noncancerous, which means there is little to no risk involved. Nonetheless, it is still necessary to regularly see a neurosurgeon for the appropriate monitoring to be done. Of course, because the tumor can grow, it is key to have the progression monitored. 

Talk to a neurosurgeon

When suffering from an acoustic neuroma or other brain conditions, the best thing to do is consult with a neurosurgeon. An evaluation of the brain can be done to determine how severe the situation is. The patient can ask questions and go over anything concerns that may be outstanding. From there, any necessary work can be performed by the neurosurgeon. To find out more about acoustic neuromas or to get scheduled for a consultation appointment, reach out today. 

Request an appointment here: https://arizonaneurosurgeon.com or call Randall Porter, M.D. at (602) 603-8951 for an appointment in our Phoenix office. 

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Acoustic Neuroma in Phoenix, AZ.

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