An Acoustic Neuroma is a tumor of the nerve which connects the ear to the brain and is usually a benign tumor, which means it does not spread to other parts of the body.
The symptoms of acoustic neuroma usually develop from the tumor that presses the adjacent nerves, nearby blood vessels, or brain structures. As a result of which the most common symptoms include:
Hearing loss (Gradual)
Ringing (tinnitus) in the affected ear
Unsteadiness, loss of balance
Facial numbness and weakness
Acoustic neuromas are usually caused as a result of a malfunctioning gene and another possible risk factor may be childhood exposure to low-dose radiation of the head and neck.
Diagnosis is determined by a PET CT or MRI scan of the head which provides images that can confirm the presence of an Acoustic Neuroma and helps in designing a treatment plan that is best for you.
Treatment may vary depending on the size and growth of the acoustic neuroma. If the scans show the tumor is growing or if the tumor causes progressive symptoms, a non-invasive treatment modality like CyberKnife is suggested.
CyberKnife uses radiation with pin-point accuracy to remove the tumors and stop them from growing while preserving facial nerve function and possibly preserve hearing. The pinpoint accuracy of CyberKnife eliminates damage to surrounding healthy tissue.