Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) Treatment in Tampa Bay
What are Acoustic Neuromas?
Acoustic neuromas, also known as vestibular schwannomas, are noncancerous tumors that grow in the ear. They are typically slow-growing tumors that can cause compression on the nerves around the ear and affect hearing, balance, facial sensation, eye movement and swallowing. Both men and women are affected by acoustic neuromas, typically in their 40s or 50s, although some types can appear earlier. As acoustic neuromas grow, they can cause a variety of other complications, including:
- Temporary or permanent hearing loss
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Ringing in the ear
- Facial numbness or loss of facial muscle movement
Left untreated, acoustic neuromas can cause a buildup of fluid on the brain and compress the cerebellum or brain stem, which can be life threatening. This is rare, and most acoustic neuromas can be diagnosed and treated effectively.
Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms
Hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and loss of balance are often early signs of an acoustic neuroma, although early detection is sometimes difficult because these symptoms are common with other inner ear problems. Symptoms may also be subtle and may not appear in the beginning stages of growth. It’s extremely important to consult with your doctor or one of the experts at Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology if you experience any of these symptoms.
Treatment for Acoustic Neuromas in Tampa Bay
If you are diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, there are three paths of treatment for you and your doctor to consider:
- Surgical removal, which involves removing all or part of the tumor through a number of procedures.
- Observation, or watchful waiting. Acoustic neuromas are slow growing and non-cancerous, so often monitoring the tumor with periodic MRI scans is prescribed, and other treatment is only necessary if the tumor grows rabidly or causes serious symptoms.
- Radiation therapy, including stereotactic radiosurgery, which delivers precisely targeted radiation to the tumor while avoiding the surrounding healthy tissue.
Early diagnosis of a vestibular schwannoma is key to preventing serious consequences.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about acoustic neuroma, our acoustic neuroma specialists, and acoustic neuroma treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area.