Understanding Acoustic Neuromas
Acoustic neuroma is a growth of a benign tumor that forms on the vestibulocochlear nerve. This nerve leads from the inner ear to the brain, which is associated with balance. Acoustic neuromas usually grow slowly and do not spread. However, they can eventually grow so large that they press against surrounding structures, including the brain and other nerves. In rare cases, an acoustic neuroma may grow large enough to compress the brainstem and become life-threatening.
An acoustic neuroma results from an abnormal growth of Schwann cells. These specialized cells encase the fibers of the vestibulocochlear nerve. Abnormal growth of these cells has been linked to a genetic malfunction. An acoustic neuroma may cause a variety of permanent complications including:
- Hearing loss
- Facial numbness & weakness
- Difficulties with balance
- Ringing in the ear
Common signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma include:
- Hearing loss, usually gradual — although in some cases sudden — and occurring on only one side or more pronounced on one side
- Ringing (tinnitus) in the affected ear
- Unsteadiness, loss of balance
- Dizziness (vertigo)
- Facial numbness and very rarely, weakness or loss of muscle movement
Treatment options for acoustic neuromas depend on the patient and on the characteristics of the tumor. If a neuroma isn’t causing problems, and if it is not growing rapidly, a physician may recommend monitoring without treatment. If treatment becomes necessary, an experienced neurosurgeon at The NeuroMedical Center is best suited to treat acoustic neuroma using advanced techniques including the gamma knife icon.
Expert Diagnosis & Treatment of Acoustic Neuromas
Acoustic neuromas require expert care because of their sensitive location. Early diagnosis of an acoustic neuroma may keep the tumor from growing large enough to cause serious consequences such as hearing loss or life-threatening buildup of fluid within your skull.
The NeuroMedical Center remains on the leading-edge of evaluation and treatment of acoustic neuromas and all skull base conditions. Our specialist offer the most advanced training in the use of minimally-invasive stereotactic techniques and equipment, including the Gamma Knife Icon, used to treat many neurological conditions including acoustic neuromas. Ensure that you receive accurate diagnosis and the very best treatment for acoustic neuromas by choosing a neurosurgeon at The NeuroMedical Center. Schedule an appointment by calling The NeuroMedical Center today (225) 768-2050 or by requesting an appointment online.