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Gamma Knife treatment for acoustic neuroma

What is an acoustic neuroma?

An acoustic neuroma (also known as a vestibular schwannoma) is a non-cancerous tumor that develops from the balance and hearing nerves that supply the inner ear. As the tumor grows, it presses against the hearing and balance nerves. This usually causes hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), headaches, dizziness or loss of balance, and may affect speech and swallowing. If the tumor grows large it can cause facial numbness or weakness, or even paralysis, on the side of the face with the tumor.

Facts about acoustic neuromas

  • They generally affect only one ear.
  • They make up about eight percent of all tumors found inside the skull.
  • Each year, 1 of every 100,000 people will develop an acoustic neuroma.
  • Symptoms usually come on slowly and are first noticed between the ages of 30 and 60.
  • Bilateral acoustic neuromas (both ears) can occur in neurofibromatosis type II, a hereditary disorder.

For more information:
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke, National Institute of Health

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