Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms Are Not To Be Ignored

By: - Medicine - July 17, 2011
acoustic neuroma symptoms are not to be ignored

Your doctor may tell you that acoustic neuroma symptoms will vary and may give you some information on what to expect for your particular condition.  A neuroma is a type of noncancerous tumor and when it’s referred to as being acoustic, this is because it grows inside the ear on the main nerve that runs from the ear to the brain.

While many hear the word “tumor” and immediately think that it must be something cancerous, this type of tumor may grow and yet not spread.  In some cases it can be removed by surgery or shrunk with radiation.  In other cases, monitoring its growth is all that’s needed or all that can be done.

No matter your course of treatment, understanding the symptoms of acoustic neuroma  will help you to better understand what to expect and to know when to make a follow up appointment with your physician.  If you have a very slow growing tumor, you may simply experience some discomfort and slight difficulties.  For others, knowing your symptoms will tell you when it’s time to consider a more permanent option for treatment such as surgery.

How It Affects You

To better understand acoustic neuroma symptoms you need to understand how this particular nerve in the ear works and what it affects.  Your balance is affected by your inner ears, not just your hearing.  When you have this type of tumor, or any number of problems in your inner ear, it’s not unusual to experience problems with balance including dizziness, lightheadedness, lack of stability when walking or standing, and even nausea like seasickness.

In other cases, a person may experience problems with hearing and also have tinnitus, or a constant ringing of the ears.  This is because sound is created in the ear by these nerves receiving sound waves in the air and then translating them into sound.  When there is a tumor in the nerve inside the inner ear or other damage to the ear canal, this can cause an unnatural vibration inside the ear at all times.  A person might hear a buzzing, humming, cracking, whistling, or other such constant noise.

Speaking To Your Doctor

While these symptoms of acoustic neuroma are not necessarily dangerous in and of themselves, you still need to be very aware of them and of any increase in their severity you may experience.  If the tumor grows this may increase the severity of these symptoms.

However, it’s good to remember that acoustic neuroma symptoms don’t always indicate a change in the size of the tumor.  Depending upon where it’s located along the nerve and a person’s own condition, they may experience severe symptoms without any changes to the tumor itself.  It may not even be diagnosed until it is of a size that would recommend surgery.  This means that while you want to be aware of how that tumor may affect you overall, you also don’t want to panic every time you hear a ringing in your ears or feel slightly dizzy.

In all cases, speak to your doctor about expected symptoms of acoustic neuroma so you know when to make a follow up appointment and can explore other treatment options such as radiation or surgery.  While the tumor is not cancerous, ignoring it can lead to even greater problems with one’s hearing and a permanent hearing loss, and of course unchecked problems with balance and stability can mean falls and injuries.  You may not think of these as being risks with your condition but you need to speak to your doctor about your particular risk factors.