Acoustic neuroma

An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous growth or tumor on the auditory nerve near the inner ear. The auditory nerve carries sound impulses from the ear to the brain.

An acoustic neuroma grows slowly and can cause hearing loss in the affected ear. Although the growth is not cancerous, it can press on other nerves or brain tissues as it grows.

Symptoms of acoustic neuroma may include:

  • Hearing loss (usually in just one ear).
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
  • Headache.
  • Numbness or weakness of one side of the face.
  • Difficulty standing or walking because of unsteadiness or vertigo.

Acoustic neuroma is not common; it most often occurs in people ages 30 to 50. The cause is unknown. Acoustic neuromas are removed with surgery to prevent damage to other nerves or brain tissues.

Last Updated: February 12, 2010

Author: Jan Nissl, RN, BS

Medical Review: H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine

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