Symptoms: Potential hallmarks of an acoustic neuroma

Early symptoms of acoustic neuroma often relate to balance and hearing. These might include: Hearing loss, sudden hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness. Since this benign brain tumor usually only grows slowly, it can persist without symptoms for a longer period of time.

If the acoustic neuroma becomes larger and reaches the cerebellopontine angle so that other cranial nerves become impaired, late symptoms of swallowing disorders, facial paralysis, sensory disturbances in the face and even life-threatening impairments can occur.

Symptoms depend on the size and location

The abovementioned symptoms occur differently in patients – at different times, in different intensities, in different orders and in different combinations. The causes of this are the different sizes and positions of acoustic neuromas, e.g. further into the rear skull cavity or still in the inner, bony ear canal. The size and position determine how severely the cranial nerves will be affected. Thereby, the position of the tumour is at least as important as its size.

Given that some symptoms can have causes other than an acoustic neuroma, it is not possible to diagnose an acoustic neuroma solely on the basis of these symptoms. However, specifics such as several occurring acute hearing losses and a combination of two or more symptoms must be evaluated by responsible doctors as a possible indication of the presence of an acoustic neuroma brain tumour. The introduction of a more targeted diagnostic procedure must then follow. It should not remain as it is, as some of the symptoms mentioned are still dismissed as «age-related» complaints or as a consequence of work-related or personal stress!

It is important that a small acoustic neuroma, as a rule, may still not cause any of the abovementioned later symptoms and can be treated successfully. Early detection of symptoms and their conscientious analysis and interpretation are therefore a priority for doctors. Acoustic neuroma patients can contribute greatly to this through good observation of their sensations and complaints.

Early Symptoms

Initial disturbances often affect balance and hearing in sufferers.

Late Symptoms

A growing acoustic neuroma can impact on other cranial nerves and blood vessels.

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