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Etiology and PathologyAcoustic Neuroma, another term used is vestibular schwannoma, is a rare benign tumor that grows slowly from an overproduction of Schwann cells on the main nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain . The tumor begins to exert pressure on the nerve which can cause hearing loss, ringing in your ear and unsteadiness. As the tumor grows, it begins to affect the body in other ways such as the reduced facial sensation, paralysis of the face on the side of the tumor, and even life-threatening conditions when the tumor causes pressure on the brainstem and the cerebellum.Acoustic Neuroma affects about one out of every 100,000, any individual can get Acoustic Neuroma but most patients are from the age of 30 to 60 years old.There are two types of Acoustic Neuroma, one is unilateral which has not shown to be hereditary.The other type is Bilateral vestibular schwannomas which affects both hearing nerves and is usually associated with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2(NF2). Half of type 2 inherited the disorder from a parent and the other half were the first in their family to be diagnosed with the mutation. Many NF2 patients also are more likely to have a tumor on their brain and spinal cord. Symptoms Early detection of Acoustic Neuroma is difficult due to many symptoms overlap with effects of aging and for the most part are gradual.  Unilateral loss of hearing is a common first sign. About  88% of patients had a one-sided hearing loss at the time of diagnosis. Doctors or patients may misdiagnose hearing loss to aging, noise exposure, or allergies. 70% of patients reported tinnitus at the time of diagnosis, 57% had vertigo or balance issues.some other symptoms reported were plugging in the ear, headache, facial weakness/paralysis, fatigue, eye problems, cognitive changes, and oral/swallowing issues. When the tumor gets large enough that it is pressing on the trigeminal nerve, this causes facial or tongue numbness and tingling with can be constant or intermittent.  Treatment Early treatment and detection are important to reduce side effects and damage.Surgical removal This method is the most invasive of the three methods. The size of the tumor is important when surgically removing the tumor. Once the tumor grows in size, the chances to save the hearing for that ear diminish. Complications can also arise if the tumor has attached itself to other nerves that are responsible for other parts of the face and may leave lasting effects.  Radiation (gamma knife) In this process the tumor is beamed with a focused radiation. In this therapy, the attempt is to reduce or stop the tumor from growing. This technique is normally used on patients that have a complicated tumor that is dangerous to operate on, on elderly patients,  patients with bilateral acoustic neuroma or patients that are being affected on their only hearing ear. Observation  Some patients that have tumors that are slow growing and benign may have a doctor regularly check on the patient and periodically perform an MRI on the patient.                        Prognosis 

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