Acoustic neuroma, also known as acoustic nerve tumor, or specific sheath tumor, is a benign tumor arising from the sheath cells surrounding the nerve fibers of the eighth cranial nerve. The tumor occurs mostly in people aged between 30 and 60 years, more than half of them women.
Causes And Symptoms
The tumors are slow-growing and the early symptoms may persist for several years before the diagnosis is made. Since the eighth cranial nerve supplies the ear, hearing disorders, such as loss of hearing and ringing in one or both ears, are the earliest symptoms. As the tumor grows, other cranial nerves and parts of the brain may become stretched or compressed and other symptoms develop. These include headache, blurring of vision, double vision, disturbance of gait, giddiness and vertigo. Weakness or slight paralysis of the facial nerves are early signs of growth and extension of the tumor. If untreated, acoustic neuroma will eventually result in death.
The only treatment is surgical removal of the tumor.