Lifestyle Changes For Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuromas are tumors of the Schwann cells that line the vestibular nerve which is the main nerve leading from your ear to your brain. It is a benign and slow-growing tumor.(1)

Lifestyle Changes For Acoustic Neuroma

Lifestyle Changes For Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuromas can affect your quality of life severely. Once the condition is diagnosed, certain lifestyle changes may help in coping up with the situation and improve your quality of life. These may include-

  • Maintaining an optimistic attitude may help in feeling better about the condition. Brooding or pondering over the situation will only cause more stress and agony.
  • Discuss the possible options with your doctor and therapist.
  • Use all types of necessary aids and accessories. Hearing aids may be useful in restoring your hearing capabilities. A walking stick may help you deal with the unsteadiness and falls resulting from it. Install railings and handles at places like stairwells and big rooms. With the support of these railings, bars, and handles, you can walk freely in the house or veranda, without getting unsteady and falling.
  • An occupational therapist may help you deal with the problem of unsteadiness.
  • Finding out all the information that you can about the condition may help in understanding the situation better. It may help in clearing any doubts that you may have related to the condition
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet may help in improving your immunity and giving you the strength to fight back with the disease.
  • Quit smoking. It is a known fact that smoking can cause a delay or failure in healing.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption. Loss of balance or unsteadiness is one of the prime signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma. It is also one of the complications of this condition. Addition of excessive alcohol consumption to this fact can lead to even more unsteadiness and may result in dangerous falls.
  • Find out about support groups online and offline and be a part of such groups. These groups comprise of many other members who suffer from similar problems and conditions. Talking to them may find your answers to many of your questions and help ease your fears.(2)

The treatment of your acoustic neuroma may vary depending upon various factors, like the size of the neuroma, growth of the neuroma, your general health condition, and presence of any signs and symptoms. The treatment may comprise of one or many of the following different methods-

Watchful Waiting-

If the neuroma is very small and does not grow or is growing very slowly and not producing any signs and symptoms, your doctor may suggest you wait, and he will monitor you closely and carefully over time.

During the period of watchful waiting, you will be advised to take several tests and scans to evaluate your condition from time to time. If the tests are suggestive of, growth or progress in the symptoms, then there may be a need to change the course of the treatment.(3)

Surgery

  • Surgery is used to remove the neuroma. The type of surgery will depend upon various factors like the size and location of the neuroma, your hearing capabilities, etc.
  • The surgery focuses on removing the neuroma and, at the same time, preserving the facial nerve, and hearing and preventing facial paralysis.
  • It may not be possible to remove the entire neuroma through surgery. Also, sometimes, there may be complications due to surgery, like hearing loss, facial paralysis, facial weakness, numbness, tinnitus, unsteadiness, meningitis, stroke, etc.(3)
  • Radiosurgery can be another option when surgery is not possible or recommended.(3)

Conclusion

Acoustic neuroma can be treated in different ways. However, some symptoms may still persist even after the completion of treatment. Certain lifestyle changes can help in alleviating the symptoms, coping up better and improve the quality of life.

References-

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acoustic-neuroma/symptoms-causes/syc-20356127
  2. http://www.theteamwork.com/health/2016-150149-acoustic-neuroma-lifestyle-changes-self-help.html
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acoustic-neuroma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356132

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