Acoustic Neuroma: When should one seek medical advice?

By  , Expert Content
Nov 28, 2011

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Symptoms of an acoustic neuroma in the initial stages can often be subtle. Many people disregard several symptoms such as loss of hearing, dizziness, normal changes associated with aging etc, thereby extending the diagnosis. If you are subjected to loss of hearing and balancing, here are pointers that will help you know when to consult your doctor.

  • Hearing loss: Difficulty in hearing in one ear, which worsens over time. Gradual hearing loss in one ear is usually the first symptom of acoustic neuroma. Seldom do some people experience sudden loss of hearing.
  • Abnormal sensation of movement: when you have a sensation of movement even when completely still (vertigo), dizziness or problems with balance of posture.
  • Ringing in ear (tinnitus): If you hear a ringing sound in the ear (tinnitus-it is a perception of noise inside the ear in the absence of noise in reality)or have a feeling of fullness in the ear.
  • Facial numbness and tingling: The tumour may affect the nerve responsible for sensation in the face (the trigeminal nerve), causing facial numbness that may be constant or recurring.
  • Facial weakness: If you develop facial weakness or paralysis,  the neuroma may compress the facial nerve (the nerve for  muscles of the face) and this may cause facial weakness or paralysis on the side of the tumour.
  • Other symptoms: If you develop symptoms such as changes in taste, headache, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and hoarseness that persist for more than a few days or are severe.

These are some signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma, but they can be caused by many other middle and inner ear problems as well. If you have any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor for a diagnosis and its appropriate treatment. Your doctor, after examining you (and if needed, after tests, can diagnose the cause of the symptoms in your body and treat them appropriately.

Consult a doctor immediately

Symptoms such as clumsiness, clumsy gait and mental confusion may be caused if the pressure on the brain rises. These are serious problems that need urgent medical consultation and treatment.

Who To Consult

Consult your family doctor or a general practitioner. If your doctor suspects acoustic neuroma or some other type of problem, you may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist), a neurologist, a neurosurgeon or an otolaryngologist (a doctor who specializes in neurological surgeries and is called a neurotologist).



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