What is Acoustic Neuroma?
Acoustic neuroma (also called a vestibular schwannoma) is a non-malignant growth that develops on the inner ear’s vestibular nerve. This nerve transmits both balance and sound information to the brain. An acoustic neuroma can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, and dizziness or loss of balance.
Symptoms of Acoustic Neuroma
An acoustic neuroma gradually compresses the hearing and balance nerves, usually causing one-sided hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and dizziness or loss of balance. Sometimes it can also cause facial numbness or weakness.
The symptoms of an acoustic neuroma are usually gradual in onset.
Treatment of Acoustic Neuroma
Typically, acoustic neuroma’s are surgically removed. Alternatively radiotherapy or simple monitoring may be used.
Following surgery, some patients may have ongoing symptoms of hearing loss, facial weakness or balance problems.
Facial palsy can be helped with physiotherapy through exercises and electrical stimulation of the facial muscles.
Balance problems can be helped with vestibular rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the connection between the ear, vestibular nerve and brain.