1. Brief Introduction
A vestibular schwannoma is a growth on the nerve that goes from the ear to the brain. It can cause hearing loss and balance problems. Another name for a vestibular schwannoma is "acoustic neuroma."
Vestibular schwannomas are more common in adults than children. They usually happen in just 1 ear, but a few people get them in both ears.
Some people have a higher risk of getting a vestibular schwannoma. They include:
◆ People who have a disease called "neurofibromatosis type 2" or NF2 – This disease causes growths in different parts of the body. It can run in families. If someone in your family has NF2, you have a higher risk of getting a vestibular schwannoma.
◆People who had head and neck radiation treatment in childhood-----This can cause a vestibular schwannoma many years later.
◆ Hearing loss – This can happen over many years. A person might not realize they do not hear as well as before.
◆ Tinnitus – This is when a person has ringing, buzzing, hissing, or roaring sounds in 1 or both ears.
◆ Balance problems when walking
◆ A feeling of tilting to one side
◆ Face symptoms – These can include: numbness, pain, trouble moving part of the face
A test called an "audiogram" – In this test, you put on a headset. A hearing specialist (called an "audiologist") plays sounds in 1 ear at a time. They ask you to signal when you hear the sounds. The test shows if you have hearing loss that could be from a vestibular schwannoma or another condition. It also shows whether both ears are affected the same way.
Imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans – These tests create pictures of the inside of the body. They can show a vestibular schwannoma or other growth that is causing symptoms.
4. Treatment Options
◆ Surgery – Taking out the vestibular schwannoma can help you keep the hearing you still have. But if you already lost some hearing, surgery will not usually bring it back.
◆Radiation – This treatment uses high doses of X-rays to keep the vestibular schwannoma from growing and causing more symptoms. Some people still lose their hearing gradually after radiation, even though the vestibular schwannoma has stopped growing.
◆ Watchful waiting – This means you wait to see if your symptoms change, but don't have treatment right away. You get an imaging test every year. You will probably also have regular hearing tests. You might have surgery or radiation if the vestibular schwannoma starts growing quickly or starts causing symptoms.
You can find professional doctors and experts about this disease here for your further consultation and treatment.
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