Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic Neuroma located in Fort Worth, Texas

Acoustic Neuroma

An acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous tumor that develops on the vestibular nerve, which leads from your inner ear to your brain. Otolaryngologist and neurotologist Ricardo Cristobal, MD, PhD, FACS, offers treatment for people with this tumor that interferes with hearing and balance from his practice, Texas Ear Clinic, in Fort Worth, Texas. Call today to schedule your appointment, or use the online tool to book.

What is an acoustic neuroma?

Acoustic neuroma is a tumor that develops on the main nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain. It’s typically slow-growing and hard to diagnose at first because signs and symptoms develop so gradually. 

The pressure the neuroma places on this nerve can cause hearing loss, ringing in your ear, and poor balance. 

In rare cases, an acoustic neuroma proliferates and can press against the brain, causing a potentially life-threatening situation.

What are the symptoms of acoustic neuroma?

Because acoustic neuroma is slow to develop, so are the symptoms and signs of the condition. The following could indicate that you have a tumor:

  • Hearing loss that worsens over months or years
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Loss of balance and feelings of unsteadiness
  • Dizziness and vertigo

Facial numbness can also occur if the tumor presses on nearby nerves controlling facial sensation. 

As the tumor gets larger, these symptoms become more noticeable and begin to affect day-to-day life. The symptoms will persist and continue to worsen until you get treatment. 

How is acoustic neuroma treated?

Treatment for acoustic neuroma depends on the size of the tumor, your health, and the severity of any symptoms. 

If your neuroma is small and not causing symptoms, Dr. Cristobal may recommend monitoring the tumor. Because it grows so slowly – and sometimes not at all – he may not want to rush to treatment. Older adults with acoustic neuroma may do best with this approach, too. 

Every 6-12 months, you’ll come to the office of Texas Ear Clinic for regular imaging and hearing tests to assess whether the tumor is growing and how fast. 

Another possible treatment is focused (stereotactic) radiation therapy to halt tumor growth. This may be a good option in many instances.

Dr. Cristobal may recommend surgery if the tumor continues to grow, is very large, or is causing bothersome symptoms. The goal of any surgery is to remove the tumor and keep the facial nerve intact and working as it should. If the tumor is too close to important structures or the brain, it may not be possible for the doctor to remove it all. 

Call Texas Ear Clinic today if you’re having symptoms of an acoustic neuroma. You can also use the online booking agent to schedule an appointment.