Acoustic Neuromas

Neurosurgery located in Birmingham, AL

Acoustic Neuromas services offered in Birmingham, AL

Acoustic neuromas affect about one in every 100,000 Americans. At Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine in Birmingham, Alabama, the board-certified neurosurgeons offer comprehensive treatment of acoustic neuromas (aka vestibular schwannomas). They work closely with specially trained neuro-otologists, providing the highest level of surgical care. Call the office to request a consultation for acoustic neuromas today, or make an appointment online.

Acoustic Neuromas Q&A

What are acoustic neuromas?

An acoustic neuroma is a rare, typically slow-growing, non-cancerous brain tumor. These tumors develop in the vestibular nerve –– a nerve that runs from the inner ear to the brain.

An acoustic neuroma may affect your balance or hearing. If the tumor grows big enough, it can even press against your brain, causing more serious problems. 

Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine specializes in acoustic neuroma treatment. The practice is recognized as a Skull Base Surgery Center of Excellence as awarded by the North American Skull Base Society.

What are the symptoms of acoustic neuromas?

Symptoms of acoustic neuromas can include:

  • Hearing loss that worsens over time
  • Ringing in the affected ear (tinnitus)
  • Unsteadiness or loss of balance
  • Dizziness (vertigo)

Acoustic neuromas may cause facial numbness, weakness, or loss of muscle control, depending on their location.

Should I see a neurosurgeon about an acoustic neuroma?

Make an appointment at Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine if you have hearing loss in one ear or trouble with your balance. That’s especially true if your symptoms last for more than a few days or affect your routine. 

How are acoustic neuromas diagnosed?

Acoustic neuromas can be hard to diagnose because they grow slowly over a period of months or years. As a result, symptoms are often attributed to other issues, like ear infections or inner ear problems.

Your Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine provider asks about your symptoms and completes an ear exam. Then, they order several tests, including:

Hearing test (audiometry)

During this test, you wear a pair of headphones. Your provider plays different sounds at various tones, asking you to raise your hand whenever you hear a specific noise. Your provider plays the sounds at different levels, assessing your hearing in both ears.

Diagnostic imaging

Imaging procedures like MRIs and CT scans capture high-quality photos of your ear canals and inner ear. These tests can identify an acoustic neuroma and help guide treatment.

How are acoustic neuromas treated?

Treatment of acoustic neuromas depends on the size and location of the tumor, how fast it’s growing, and your general health. 

If your tumor is small and causes few symptoms, your provider recommends a “wait and watch” approach. But, if your neuroma grows quickly or affects your balance and hearing, intervention may be necessary. Your provider may recommend surgery or radiation therapy, depending on your needs.

Call Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine to explore the treatment options for acoustic neuromas today, or make an appointment online.