Acoustic Neuroma Brain Tumors
An acoustic neuroma is a benign (non-cancerous) brain tumor which starts in the cells that wrap around the auditory (hearing) nerve in the head. These tumors may grow on one or both sides of the brain. Acoustic neuromas account for about seven percent of all brain tumors. They are a form of schwannoma or vestibular schwannoma, tumors that originate in the cells that form a protective sheath around the body's nerve fibers.
In the early stages of acoustic neuroma, symptoms may include:
- Loss of hearing
- Ringing in the ears
Cause and Risk Factors
The cause and risk factors for acoustic neuromas are not yet known.
When the acoustic neuroma is found early, doctors may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and hearing tests, which may include a special technique to test nerve impulses as they travel to the brain.
When acoustic neuromas are small, they can be removed by microsurgical procedures, which may help avoid damage to the facial nerve. For larger brain tumors, extensive surgery may be needed.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is also used to treat acoustic neuromas.