[toc]Acoustic Neuroma is a non-cancerous growth of tumors, which develops at a slow pace on the eighth cranial nerve which joins the inner ear with the brain. This nerve is divided into two distinct parts performing different functions; one part is responsible for diffusing sound and the other part propels the balance information from inner ear to the brain. These budding cysts start pressing the hearing and balancing nerves. The large polyps can impact nearby cranial nerves by pressing them, and since cranial nerves are responsible for facial expressions and perceptions, these result in deadness (unresponsiveness) and paralysis of face if the condition worsens.
Acoustic neuroma is known to be mainly caused by a malfunctioning gene on chromosome 22. Patients suffering from neurofibromatosis type 2 are also known to develop this. Other reasons for acoustic neuroma include listening to loud music and being exposed to low intensity radiations in the face and neck area at an early stage in life. Here are some signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma you must watch out for:
5 Symptoms Of Acoustic Neuroma
Loss of Hearing
In more than 90% of the patients suffering from Acoustic Neuroma, the first symptom shown is the loss of hearing in one ear. It is due to the pressure created by tumors on the eighth nerve. The hearing loss results in reduced ability to understand spoken words especially while using the telephone.
The hearing loss is usually accompanied with the ringing of ear known as Tinnitus and the loss of hearing gets worse over a period of time.
Ringing of the Ear
Commonly known as ‘Tinnitus’, it is a perception in which the patients of acoustic neuroma hear hissing, buzzing, ringing and other of sounds in one ear, when actually there is no external sound nearby. Tinnitus can be irregular or persistent with various tones and the perceived volume can be very high or very low.
Tinnitus is a just a symptom and not a disease. Few patients have one-sided tinnitus in the absence of subjective hearing loss.
Numbness and Facial Paralysis
Tumor creates pressure on the facial nerve, which in turn results in facial weakness. The muscles arising from the facial nerve are responsible for facial expressions, sensations and display of emotions. Since the facial nerves are suppressed by the tumor it results in facial paralysis.
As the tumor grows in size, it presses against another nerve known as the trigeminal nerve. This makes patients experience facial numbness, spasms and tingling either continuously or erratically near the corner of the mouth or on the cheeks.
Loss of Taste and Balance
If the tumour is large enough, the patients experience a loss of taste in the back of the tongue. Patients might also experience motion sickness, vomiting, headache and partly unconsciousness. Since the tumor rises from the vestibular nerve, which manages the equilibrium system of the body, it might result in balance problems.
Alhough the tumour cannot result in a complete loss of balance of the body; it affects the side of the body where the acoustic neuroma occurs..
Loss of Rationality and Physical Balance
Acoustic Neuroma results in lossof cognitive or intellectual capabilities such as finding difficulty in paying attention, getting distracted easily, getting confused in following directions and instructions and difficulty in listening to the speaker. Patients also suffer from anxiety depressions and fatigue.
And loss of Physical balance affects the ability to perform activities like walking, writing. When this is caused by Acoustic Neuroma it affects the same sides of the body where acoustic neuroma occurs.