An acoustic neuroma, also called a vestibular schwannoma, is a non-cancerous tumor that occurs around your balance and hearing nerves that connect your inner ear with your brain.
An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor (not cancer). Benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body the way cancerous tumors do. They cause problems by growing and pressing on important structures and nerves.
The first symptom is usually a gradual loss of hearing in one ear, often accompanied by ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or a feeling of fullness in the ear. Less commonly, acoustic neuromas may cause sudden hearing loss.
Other symptoms, which may occur over time, include –
• Problems with balance
• Vertigo (feeling like the world is spinning)
• Facial numbness and tingling, which may be constant or come and go
• Facial weakness
• Taste changes
• Difficulty swallowing and hoarseness
• Clumsiness or unsteadiness
Precisely what causes Schwann cells to multiply and lead to an acoustic neuroma remains unclear. In most cases, there is no identifiable cause. However, there may be some risk factors, including –
• Age: Acoustic neuroma tend to appear between the ages of 30 to 60 years
• Family history: Neurofibromatosis type 2 can run in families. However, this accounts for only 5 percent of cases.
• Radiation exposure: Significant exposure to radiation to the head and neck during childhood may increase the risk later in life.
Your physician will ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. You will also have a series of hearing and balance tests and scans, which may include:
• Audiogram to check hearing ability.
• Electronystagmography, which tests balance and records eye movement to check how your eye and ear nerves are functioning.
• Auditory brainstem response to measures how hearing nerves response to sound and check brainstem function.
• MRI and CT scans to locate the tumor and measure its size.
Several complications can arise, including –
• Hearing loss: This may persist even after treatment.
• Dizziness and loss of balance: If this occurs, it can make daily activities difficult to do.
• Facial palsy: If surgery, or rarely, the tumor itself, affects the facial nerve, which is close to the acoustic nerve, the face may droop on one side, and swallowing and speaking clearly may be difficult. This is facial palsy, also known as Bell’s palsy.
• Hydrocephalus: If a large tumor presses against the brainstem, this can affect the flow of fluid between the spinal cord and the brain. If fluid accumulates in the head, it can lead to hydrocephalus.
Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Your treatment options will depend on –
• Tumor size and location.
• Your age and overall health.
• Degree of damage to your hearing and balance nerves.
Treatment options include –
• Observation: If the tumor is small, not growing and not causing any symptoms, your doctor may recommend monitoring the tumor but not actively treating it. You will have regular MRI scans to see if the tumor is growing.
• Radiosurgery: For small and medium tumors, this approach may stop tumor growth. You receive a single high dose of targeted radiation therapy, delivered directly to the tumor. You will need ongoing scans during treatment to watch for any tumor growth.
• Microsurgery: This type of surgery goal is to remove as much of the acoustic neuroma as possible while preserving your facial nerve function. Surgery is the only treatment option that permanently removes the tumor. In some cases, surgeons can preserve your hearing, though not always. The smaller the tumor, the more likely it can be removed and hearing preserved.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
Ayurveda offers an effective treatment for the patients of Acoustic neuroma. Ayurveda’s herbal supplements are very helpful to relieve health and medical condition in a healthy and natural way.
Ayurvedic natural products include various herbal remedies that could effectively reduce tumors and balance body energy as well as tissue healing.
The herbs include Ashwagandha, Guggul, Curcumin, Tulsi. These herbs are known to balance the doshas of the body by eliminating excessive toxins, acting as anti-stress, and relieving muscular pain. They also act as antimicrobial, anti-infective, and anti-inflammatory having healing properties.
Some effective Ayurvedic medicines
- Varanadi Tablet
- Guggulupanchapalam Tablet
- Malla Sindooram
- Ras sindooram
- Sarivadi vati
- Triphala guggulu
- Kanchnar guggulu
- Chanderprabha vati
- Pathyashadangam kashayam
The formulation helps in treating tumors, fibroids, cysts all kinds of blockages.
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