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Acoustic Neuroma

Also 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

 

 

 
 
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Illustration of the ear and inner ear anatomy

National Institutes of Health

 

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.