Over 90% experienced one-sided deafness, often accompanied by noise in the affected ear (tinnitus). The deafness may be gradual or sudden. A common pattern is the lessening of speech discrimination (“I can hear sounds but I cannot understand what is being said”) when listening on the telephone.
Unsteadiness and balance problems may occur early in the growth of the tumour, and worsen as the balance function is destroyed on the affected side. Pressure by large tumours on other cranial nerves causes facial numbness, weakness of the facial muscles or swallowing problems. Unsteady gait may be caused by pressure on the cerebellum. Very large tumours can also cause headaches.
Confirmation of Presence of Acoustic Neuroma
Auditory tests can reveal loss of speech discrimination and hearing loss. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans done after injecting a contract medium (or coloured dye) into the patient will show the presence of acoustic neuromas, even those that are still confined to the internal auditory canal.
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