Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Acoustic Neuroma

The cause of an acoustic neuroma depends on its type.

  • Unilateral acoustic neuromas may be caused by:
    • Environmental factors like 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 neurofibromatosis-2 (NF2), a genetic condition.

Diagnosing Acoustic Neuromas

An acoustic neuroma may go undiagnosed for a long time. Its symptoms are like other middle ear and inner ear conditions.

Your care team will use tests to diagnose. These may include:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: This test combines X-ray and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Related Resources

Acoustic Neuroma Association