Acoustic neuroma - Complications 

Complications of an acoustic neuroma 

The symptoms of an acoustic neuroma can affect your day-to-day life, however, more serious complications are rare.

Coping with your symptoms

Some symptoms of an acoustic neuroma can be difficult to live with and may affect your quality of life. For example, if your hearing is impaired, you may find your job is affected and communication may be more difficult. Severe dizziness and loss of balance may also affect your job and limit the types of activities you can perform.

Speak to your GP or specialist if your acoustic neuroma is being monitored but you feel the symptoms are significantly affecting your daily life. There may be ways of easing your symptoms, such as hearing aids or painkilling medication, or they may indicate you need treatment to remove the tumour.

You can find more information in the Health A-Z about how to treat some of the problems associated with acoustic neuroma. For example:

Recurrence

It is possible for an acoustic neuroma to return after being removed. The tumour reoccurs in less than five in every 100 people. It is likely you will need to be monitored with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans over a number of years, regardless of which treatment you have.

Hydrocephalus

One of the most serious complications of acoustic neuroma is a condition known as hydrocephalus.

Hydrocephalus occurs when an acoustic neuroma is very large and presses on your brainstem (the lowest part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord). This prevents the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from flowing between your brain and spinal cord. This blockage can cause pressure to build up inside your skull, which puts pressure on the delicate tissues in your brain.

Hydrocephalus can be treated by draining away the excess CSF. It is important that this condition is treated quickly because in severe cases it can cause brain damage. In rare instances, it can be fatal.

Read more information about hydrocephalus.


Page last reviewed: 15/06/2012

Next review due: 15/06/2014

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