Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms
Acoustic neuroma is the growth of a tumor within the cells of the nerves that are connected from the ear and into the brain. The canal can be found at the back of the ears and right under the brain. Acoustic neuroma is also called an Auditory Tumor Condition and this type of tumor develops at a slow pace. In case the size of the tumor becomes larger, this can put pressure into the audio system, thus disrupting the balance system within the brain. Due to this, you may experience various acoustic neuroma symptoms. The root cause of the condition is still unknown. However, researchers believe that such condition is due to a defect on specific genes that prevents the formation of tumors within the body. Elderly are the most susceptible to this condition although acoustic neuroma is very rare.
Symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma
During the initial stage of acoustic neuroma, the symptoms may not be visible yet or in case there are any symptoms, these are very mild and most people usually just ignore it. Some of the most common symptoms of acoustic neuroma include the following:
- Hearing Loss: this is the first and most noticeable sign of this condition. In case you are suffering from such condition, you may notice that you are unable to understand speech properly. This symptom can be recognized when using the phone. Hearing loss may affect one or both ears.
- Tinnitus: you will know that you are suffering from tinnitus if you are hearing unusual sounds in your ear without any outside sources. This can be ringing, hissing, wheezing, roaring or ticking sounds. The sounds you are hearing can be very loud at some point.
- Loss of Balance: you will also experience having trouble balancing your body. This is considered as the most problematic symptom among all the other acoustic neuroma symptoms. However, this symptom can only be experienced in case the tumor has gone larger. You will notice that loss of balance is occurring more frequently than usual. Most of the time, the fall is towards the side of the affected ear. Aside from that, you may also experience episodes of vertigo.
- Headache: this is considered as the most common symptom of acoustic neuroma. Whenever the tumor cause pressure within the skull, you may experience having headaches. There are times that the pain radiates to the neck as well. Most of the time, the headache can be felt on one side of the head or on the side of the affected ear. The headache is particularly bad upon waking up in the morning and it can be aggravated by lying down, coughing, sneezing or standing up.
- Other Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms: double vision and occasional blurred vision are symptoms of neuroma as well. Due to the tumor, your facial muscles can be affected as well, thus causing pain, numbness, weakness and twitches. In advanced cases of such condition, where the tumor grew uncontrollably, it may start to grow within the skull cavity, thus compressing the brain stem and leads to fatal conditions.
Treatment for Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic neuroma can be diagnosed using MRI scan and CT scan. The treatment, on the other hand, depends on the size of the tumor. In case the tumor is small, the physician may not suggest removal of the tumor but would recommend constant monitoring. If the tumor is bigger, the treatment may involve surgical procedures to remove the tumor using microsurgery techniques. Another helpful treatment is radiation therapy and this therapy can be used to stop or slow down the growth of the tumor using gamma radiation. Radiation therapy is often recommended for sick and elderly patients.
Both forms of treatment come with side effects. These side effects may include permanent hearing loss and damage to certain facial nerves. Suffering from acoustic neuroma during pregnancy is considered as a critical condition and this should be handled carefully. This is due to the fact that acoustic neuroma symptoms may worsen during the course of pregnancy but surgical procedures cannot be performed, as this may result to abortion. However, surgery can be performed after delivery.
Recognizing acoustic neuroma symptoms during the initial stage is of utmost importance, as it can facilitate timely diagnosis and administration of treatment. Early diagnosis can also help increase the chance of faster recovery and lessen the side effects of the treatment procedures. In case you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms and you are experiencing it frequently, it is necessary to consult your physician immediately. This is to determine if you are really suffering from acoustic neuroma and to administer the right treatment immediately. Medications can also be consumed in order to alleviate acoustic neuroma symptoms. You may consume painkillers to alleviate the pain and reduce all the other side effects of the condition.