Acoustic NeuromaAlso called: Acoustic neurilemmoma, Acoustic neurinoma, Auditory tumor, Vestibular schwannoma
An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that develops on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. The tumor usually grows slowly. As it grows, it presses against the hearing and balance nerves. At first, you may have no symptoms or mild symptoms. They can include
- Loss of hearing on one side
- Ringing in ears
- Dizziness and balance problems
The tumor can also eventually cause numbness or paralysis of the face. If it grows large enough, it can press against the brain, becoming life-threatening.
Acoustic neuroma can be difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are similar to those of middle ear problems. Ear exams, hearing tests, and scans can show if you have it.
If the tumor stays small, you may only need to have it checked regularly. If you do need treatment, surgery and radiation are options.
If the tumors affect both hearing nerves, it is often because of a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis.
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders
- Acoustic Neuroma (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Vestibular Schwannoma (Acoustic Neuroma) and Neurofibromatosis (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
- What Is an Acoustic Neuroma (Acoustic Neuroma Association)
- Symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma (Acoustic Neuroma Association)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Acoustic Neuroma: Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor (Harvard Medical School)
- Computed Tomography (CT) -- Head (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Also in Spanish
- Identifying the Acoustic Neuroma (Acoustic Neuroma Association)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) -- Head (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Also in Spanish
- Types of Post-Treatment Issues (Acoustic Neuroma Association)
- Genetics Home Reference: neurofibromatosis type 2 (National Library of Medicine)
Videos and Tutorials
- Acoustic Neuroma Educational Video (Acoustic Neuroma Association)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Neuroma, Acoustic (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- NIDCD Glossary (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
Find an Expert
- Directory of Organizations (Deafness and Communication Disorders) (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders