Acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that occurs in the vestibular nerve that goes from your ears to the brain. It is a slow-growing tumor and usually does not produce any symptoms for several years. When it does, the symptoms are usually mild in nature. It is also known as a vestibular Schwannoma.(1)
What Are The Ways To Prevent Acoustic Neuroma?
The exact cause for acoustic neuroma is not yet known. Also, the only known risk factor for acoustic neuroma is having one parent with neurofibromatosis 2, which is a very rare genetic disorder. Even so, there is only a very little chance that you may be at risk of inheritance for acoustic neuroma.
Taking these factors into account, it is very difficult to prevent acoustic neuroma, since the cause is unknown, and the inheritance factor cannot be shaken off.(2)
However, there are other risk factors, some of which can be avoided, to prevent the exposure for acoustic neuroma. These factors may include-(1,2)
- long-standing exposure to loud noise
- Exposure to radiation of neck and head during childhood
- A long-standing and extreme use of cellular phones
- A history of a parathyroid adenoma
Does Acoustic Neuroma Reoccur?
Acoustic neuroma may reoccur if they are partially removed, or treated with the help of radioactive surgery. However, a completely removed acoustic neuroma has been seen to have a very rare chance of recurrence.
Usually, the signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma do not develop for many years. Also, when they do develop, they may be very mild or subtle. The signs and symptoms are usually connected to the neuroma’s ability to hamper hearing and balancing capabilities. Also, the symptoms may be caused due to growing exerting pressure on the nearby nerves and tissue, blood vessels and brain structures. The signs and symptoms become more prominent with the growth of the Exposure. These may include-
A progressive hearing loss. The hearing loss is more on one side, or only at one side. Very rarely, the hearing loss is sudden and on both sides.
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is seen
- Imbalance or unsteadiness
- Vertigo or dizziness/giddiness
- Facial weakness, numbness or loss of movement or facial paralysis
- Very rarely, the acoustic neuroma grows too big and puts pressure on the brainstem and may create complications
If you feel any of these above signs and symptoms bothering you, it may be time to see your doctor
Causes Of Acoustic Neuroma
It is speculated that the reason for acoustic neuroma is a defective gene, which is present on chromosome 22. This gene makes a protein that is responsible for suppressing the tumors and control the growth of Schwann cells. Because of the defect in it, the Schwann cells grow beyond control and form a long-standing.
However, the reason for this gene to be defective is not yet clear and is usually not identified.
A rare type of genetic disorder, known as neurofibromatosis type 2, also present with an inheritance of this faulty gene, making it an only known risk factor for acoustic neuroma.
Complications Of Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic neuroma may give rise to certain complications like-
- Loss of hearing capacities
- Facial weakness and numbness
- Difficulties in keeping the balance
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ear
Acoustic neuroma has no known cause. It also has only one confirmed, known risk factor, which is the inheritance of a condition known as neurofibromatosis type 2. It is an autosomal dominant disorder, which means that only one parent can pass on the defected gene to the child. Every child of that parent will have a fifty percent risk of getting this condition. This condition puts you at an increased risk of getting acoustic neuroma.
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