Acoustic neuroma refers to a tumour that grows on the main vestibular nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain. This nerve has a direct influence on both hearing and balance. This is a very slow growing tumour that is non-cancerous in nature. It is also known as a vestibular schwannoma. If left untreated, the pressure an acoustic neuroma puts on the nerve can cause a loss of hearing and unsteadiness.
An acoustic neuroma grows very slowly and hence the symptoms can often be very subtle. In many cases, this condition goes undetected for a very long time. Symptoms of an acoustic neuroma usually are a result of tumours effect on balance and hearing. A tumour may also put pressure on the nerves controlling the facial muscles and adjacent blood vessels. Thus, symptoms are usually noticeable only after a tumour has grown quite big. The most common symptoms associated with this condition are:
Acoustic neuromas are easily treatable. Treatment for this condition usually takes the form of surgery to remove a tumour or radiation therapy. This too is suggested only if a tumour grows large enough to have serious symptoms. For small tumours, doctors usually simply observe the growth rate of a tumour and prescribe medications to relieve the symptoms if any. However, this condition should never be ignored as in a few cases, the tumour can grow very large and affect the brain stream. It can even be life-threatening in such cases. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!