Acoustic neuroma (AN) is a rare benign growth from the vestibulocochlear (8th cranial nerve) which is responsible for hearing and balance. Acoustic neuroma is not cancerous and does not spread to other parts of the body and it is a slow-growing tumor. However, it can pressurize the structures of the brain which can interfere with the normal function of the brain and sometimes can become dangerous. (1)
Can Acoustic Neuroma Cause Seizures & Eye Twitching, Anxiety?
Seizures are usually not seen in Acoustic neuroma patients and there are not any case studies or reports about seizures in Acoustic neuroma patients.
Symptoms of Acoustic neuroma takes years to develop. At the initial period of the tumor growth, most patients are asymptomatic. With time the tumor growth it affects the 8th nerve and when it becomes large it also affects the trigeminal nerve, facial nerve, close by blood vessels and other brain structures. Symptoms occur due to the effects the tumor (compression and irritation) cause to the above-mentioned nerves and structures. At the initial stages, Acoustic neuroma clinical features can be mistakenly diagnosed as clinical features of another neurological disease or sometimes the patient will ignore the symptoms thinking it’s nothing to worry.
Eye problems such as dry eyes or excessive tearing may occur. The twitching of the eye can occur due to dry eyes.
Hearing Loss On One Side And Inability To Hear High-Frequency Sounds: Hearing loss on one side is the commonest symptom and it occurs in 88-90% of patients with Acoustic neuroma. Most of the time the hearing loss is subtle and gradually progress, rarely the hearing loss can be sudden. Hearing high-frequency sounds are rather difficult. Sometimes this can be attributed to aging, allergies and noise exposure mistakenly.
Tinnitus: Hearing loss is most of the time accompanied by tinnitus which is the ringing in the ear. 70% of patients complain tinnitus at the initial diagnosis of Acoustic neuroma and it can be intermittent or continuous.
Dizziness And Balance Problems Or Unsteadiness: Dizziness and unsteadiness are also quite common in Acoustic neuroma patients and sometimes patients complain of dizziness and unsteadiness before noticing any hearing loss. 57% of patients complained about dizziness and balance issues at diagnosis.
Facial Weakness With Paralysis Of The Facial Nerve: The facial nerve can be affected when the tumor grows and becomes large and compress the facial nerve causing weakness in the facial muscles. However, facial weakness is quite rare. Facial numbness and tingling with paralysis of the trigeminal nerve
Headaches And Mental Confusion: The tumor can also increase the intracranial pressure giving rise to headache and mental confusion.
Unsteady Gait: The unsteady gait can be either because of the affected vestibulocochlear nerve or cerebellum or both.
Hydrocephalus: If Acoustic neuroma becomes large enough and compresses the brainstem then the cerebrospinal fluid circulation can be disrupted which can give rise to hydrocephalus. This is a serious condition and needs immediate treatment. (2) (3) (4)
Anxiety: Anxiety is not a specific symptom of Acoustic neuroma. Most patients will feel anxious and stressed out after the diagnosis of Acoustic neuroma. Anxiety can occur if the patient is not educated about Acoustic neuroma and that it’s not a cancerous growth. Other than that patient can get anxious about tumor removal, surgery, and recovery.
Acoustic neuroma (AN) is a rare benign growth from the vestibulocochlear nerve. At the initial period of the tumor growth, most patients are asymptomatic. With time the tumor growth it affects the 8th nerve and when it becomes large it also affects the trigeminal nerve, facial nerve, close by blood vessels and other brain structures. The clinical feature of Acoustic neuroma are hearing loss and tinnitus in the affected ear, dizziness, unsteadiness, facial weakness, headaches, mental confusion, unsteady gait, eye problems (eye twitching) and hydrocephalus. Seizures are not seen in Acoustic neuroma patients and anxiety is not a specific symptom of Acoustic neuroma but after the diagnosis of Acoustic neuroma patients can feel anxious and worried.
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