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      Acoustic Neuroma

      What is acoustic neurinoma?

      Acoustic neurinoma, also referred to as acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma, is a non-cancerous tumor that may develop from an overproduction of Schwann cells that press on the hearing and balance nerves in the inner ear. Schwann cells are cells that normally wrap around and support nerve fibers. If the tumor becomes large, it can press on the facial nerve or brain structure.

      What are the symptoms of acoustic neurinoma?

      The following are the most common symptoms of acoustic neurinoma. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

      When a neurinoma develops, it may cause any/all of the following:

      • hearing loss
      • tinnitus
      • dizziness
      • paralysis of a facial nerve
      • life-threatening problems in the brain

      The symptoms of acoustic neurinoma may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

      Treatment for acoustic neurinoma:

      Specific treatment for acoustic neurinoma will be determined by your physician based on:

      • your age, overall health, and medical history
      • extent of the disease
      • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
      • expectations for the course of the disease
      • your opinion or preference

      Treatment may include surgery to remove small acoustic neurinomas. Surgery for larger tumors is complicated by the probable damage to hearing, balance, and facial nerves. Another treatment option is radiosurgery, often called the "gamma knife," using carefully focused radiation to reduce the size or limit the growth of the tumor.