Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of Acoustic Neuroma
The cause of an acoustic neuroma depends on the type of neuroma.
- Unilateral acoustic neuromas may be caused by:
- Continual exposure to loud noise, such as music or machinery
- Radiation to the neck or face as a child
- Bilateral acoustic neuromas are almost always caused by the genetic condition neurofibromatosis-2 (NF2).
Diagnosing acoustic neuromas
An acoustic neuroma may go undiagnosed for a long time, since its symptoms are similar to other middle ear and inner ear conditions. As symptoms progress, diagnostic tests may include:
- Ear exam: Your physician will examine your outer ear canal and eardrum with an otoscope, a tool with a light and magnifying glass.
- Hearing test: A traditional hearing test is used to determine if you are experiencing hearing loss.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: This test combines X-ray and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan: This test creates detailed images using a large magnet, a computer and radiofrequencies. Unlike computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans or X-rays, MRI does not use radiation.