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Acoustic Neuroma

An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous growth or tumor on the auditory nerve near the inner ear. The auditory nerve carries sound impulses from the ear to the brain.

An acoustic neuroma grows slowly and can cause hearing loss in the affected ear. Although the growth is not cancerous, it can press on other nerves or brain tissues as it grows.

Symptoms of acoustic neuroma may include:

  • Hearing loss (usually in just one ear).
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
  • Headache.
  • Numbness or weakness of one side of the face.
  • Trouble standing or walking because of unsteadiness or vertigo.

Acoustic neuroma is not common; it most often occurs in people ages 30 to 50. The cause is unknown. Acoustic neuromas may be removed with surgery if symptoms are severe, in order to prevent damage to other nerves or brain tissues.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedJanuary 12, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 12, 2012
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