An acoustic neuroma is also known as a schwannoma, vestibular schwannoma, or neurilemmoma.
- Arises from cells that form a protective sheath around nerve fibers
- Typically grows around the eighth cranial nerve, but can be found around other cranial or spinal nerves
- Hearing loss in one ear
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- Tingling or numbness in the face
- Walking and balance problems
- Lack of coordination
An acoustic neuroma may be observed in order to monitor its growth, or surgery may be performed. The goal of surgery is the complete removal of the tumor without harming the seventh cranial nerve (which controls facial movement) or causing hearing loss. Radiosurgery can be a viable option for many patients. This focused, high-energy radiation prevents the growth of acoustic neuromas, but actual shrinkage of the tumor may never occur or may take several months.