Tinnitus May Be Sign Of Cancer Symptoms
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Side Effects Of Radiotherapy
You may develop side effects during or after your treatment. Side effects can depend on which area of the brain has been treated and the amount of radiotherapy given.
Your radiotherapy team will explain the possible side effects of the treatment. Some side effects are mild and quite easy to cope with. Others may be managed with drugs or other treatments. It is normal to feel tired after treatment. This usually improves over time.
Tell your radiotherapy team straight away if your side effects get worse during or after treatment. They can give you advice on how to manage them.
Sometimes, radiotherapy for acoustic neuroma can cause long-term or permanent side effects that develop months or years later. These can include hearing loss and, rarely, damage to the nerves that affect your face.
Surgery for acoustic neuromas involves removing all or part of the tumour. Sometimes the surgeon leaves a small part of the tumour to avoid damaging nearby nerves. You may have stereotactic radiosurgery or radiotherapy after surgery.
Your surgeon will explain the surgery and the possible risks. They will give you information about what to expect before and after your operation. The doctors and nurses will monitor you carefully after your operation.
Other Diseases & Medical Conditions
- Tinnitus is a reported symptom of the following medical conditions:
- Metabolic Disorders: Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Anemia
- Autoimmune Disorders: Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia
- Blood Vessel Disorders: High Blood Pressure, Atherosclerosis
- Psychiatric Disorders: Depression, Anxiety, Stress
- Vestibular Disorders: Ménière’s Disease,Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Otosclerosis
- Tumor-Related Disorders : Acoustic Neuroma, Vestibular Schwannoma, other tumorous growths
Again, a person experiencing tinnitus should not assume that he/she has one of the medical conditions listed above. Only a trained healthcare provider can appropriately diagnose the underlying cause of tinnitus.
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Hearing Loss And Other Complications After Acoustic Neuroma Treatment
After treatment for acoustic neuroma, some patients experience hearing loss, cerebrospinal fluid leak, damage to facial nerves and other problems.
- Facial nerve damage is usually only temporary, and most patients recover in several months to a year. If the damage is thought to be permanent, a facial plastic surgeon can perform nerve transfer surgery or other procedures to help restore movement in the face.
- Cerebrospinal fluid leaks are caused by a hole or tear in the dura, a membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. If a leak occurs, a doctor can perform a procedure to block the hole that is leaking cerebrospinal fluid.
- For ongoing hearing issues after acoustic neuroma surgery, a doctor may recommend a bone-anchored hearing aid, cochlear implant or a regular hearing aid.
- For patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 who develop acoustic neuromas in both ears, causing deafness, cochlear implants or auditory brain stem implants can help provide a sense of sound and possibly help them understand speech.
How Are Acoustic Neuromas Diagnosed
Acoustic neuroma diagnosis can be difficult as their symptoms can be similar to other conditions. Diagnosis can also be delayed as hearing loss, may be put down to age-related hearing loss or exposure to high levels of noise earlier in life.
Acoustic neuromas are usually diagnosed after:
- routine auditory tests to reveal any loss of hearing and speech decline
- an audiogram to evaluate the level of hearing in both ears
- tests to check your sense of balance, reflexes and the strength in your arms and legs
- a diagnostic scan , if theres a noticeable loss of hearing in one ear.
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Treatments For Acoustic Neuromas
There are several different treatment options for an acoustic neuroma, depending on the size and position of your tumour, how fast it’s growing and your general health.
The main options are:
- monitoring the tumour small tumours often just need to be monitored with regular MRI scans, and the treatments below are generally only recommended if scans show it’s getting bigger
- brain surgery surgery to remove the tumour through a cut in the skull may be carried out under general anaesthetic if it’s large or getting bigger
- stereotactic radiosurgery small tumours, or any pieces of a larger tumour that remain after surgery, may be treated with a precise beam of radiation to stop them getting any bigger
All these options carry some risks. For example, surgery and radiosurgery can sometimes cause facial numbness or an inability to move part of your face .
Speak to your specialist about the best option for you and what the benefits and risks are.
The Potential Causes Of A Swooshing Noise Inside The Ear Can Be Deadly
When someone begins noticing a whooshing sound in their ear, a brain tumor is often the first possible cause that comes to their mind.
A tumor is another word for mass. A mass can be malignant or benign. A mass of anything in the body, technically, is a tumor.
This includes birthmarks, which are concentrated masses of pigment cells. If a mass is located in the brain, its, of course, a brain tumor.
When people worry about brain tumors, usually their fear is of the cancerous type, rather than a mass of blood vessels which by definition of tumor, is actually a brain tumor if the vascular entanglement is located in the brain.
The more accurate question then, is, Can brain cancer cause a swooshing or whooshing sound in ones ear?
Whooshing noises in the head are often caused by vascular lesions such as arteriovenous malformations , or fistulas where there is an abnormal/direct connection between the arterial and venous systems, explains David Poulad, MD, a board certified neurosurgeon with IGEA Brain & Spine who practices in Union, NJ, whose special interests include the surgical treatment of brain tumors.
Other vascular lesions in the brain may also sound pulsatile, but most commonly patients will describe a whooshing sound, says Dr. Poulad.
The sound is formed by the high flow of blood from the arterial system directly to the venous system.
Brain cancer does not cause a whooshing type of tinnitus .
An untreated AVM can lead to fatal hemorrhaging in the brain.
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How Is It Diagnosed
Acoustic neuromas can be difficult to diagnose. If your GP suspects that you have an acoustic neuroma from your symptoms, you would probably be referred to a hospital ear, nose and throat specialist.
Any initial tests will depend on the symptoms caused by the acoustic neuroma. If the tumour causes symptoms such as a headache or balance problems, you may also need to have other tests to check for other causes of these symptoms.
The best test to diagnose an acoustic neuroma is a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain. An MRI scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to take a detailed picture of your brain, and of the structures inside it. It is painless but it can be noisy and can make you feel anxious about being ‘closed in’ .
Hearing tests are also needed if an acoustic neuroma is suspected. This is because one of the most common symptoms of an acoustic neuroma is hearing loss.
If You Know That A Brain Tumor Can Cause Tinnitus In Only One Ear Youll Want To Be Able To Tell If Your Tinnitus Is In One Ear Or Both
You may want to know this even if youre not all that worried about a serious cause.
But is there a way you, at home, can tell if your tinnitus is coming from one ear or both?
Tinnitus can be classified as subjective or objective, says Rivka Strom, AuD, CCC-A, Director of Audiology, Advanced Hearing NY Inc.
Subjective tinnitus is an annoying sensation of hearing sound when there is no external sound present this cannot be heard by an observer, explains Strom.
Since it is purely ones perception, only that individual can be the one reporting whether it is heard in one ear or both. Some report hearing it in their head rather than in their ears. bilateral unilateral
An audiologist or any other kind of doctor, then, is not capable of determining if a patients tinnitus is coming from both ears or just one.
However, there is also no technical wayother than subjective experiencethat a person at home can make the distinction. bilateral unilateral
All you can do is try to figure it out when youre in a quiet environment. It may be that the tinnitus is being heard in both ears, but most of it is being heard in one ear.
Some people can give a percentage estimate, e.g., 70 percent of it is in one ear and 30 percent of it is in the other.
If you have new-onset tinnitus, it will be more difficult at first to tell if its coming from both ears or one, but as time goes on, its likely that youll be able to determine if its bilateral or unilateral.
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Balance Problems And Vertigo
Because acoustic neuromas arise from the vestibular nerve responsible for balance, unsteadiness or balance problems may be early symptoms of acoustic neuroma. Nearly half of people with acoustic neuromas notice these symptoms, which tend to worsen if the tumor grows. Large acoustic neuromas may compress parts of the cerebellum, which may lead to falls. Patients tend to fall toward the side of the tumor.
The balance system can compensate for the loss of balance, so it may stabilize.
True vertigo is not commonly associated with acoustic neuromas, but it can sometimes occur due to tumor growth or bleeding.
Memory Loss: Recalling Or Registering Information
You may forget objects, people, places, or events you knew before you got the tumor or forget most information about events that happened ever since you got the tumor .
A brain tumor, especially in the frontal and the temporal lobes,9 may affect your memory of objects, people, places, or events in your life. The inability to recall any such information that you knew before you had the brain tumor is known as retrograde amnesia.
You might also not be able to remember anything that happened since the brain tumor developed. This inability to process new information is known as anterograde amnesia.10 Sadly, memory loss may be an effect of the treatment as well.
What Determines The Acoustic Neuroma Treatment
Factors such as the tumor size, your age, tumor growth rate and severity of symptoms help the doctor decide which treatment options are appropriate.
Acoustic Neuroma Size
The size of the acoustic neuroma is something your doctor will consider. Larger tumors are more likely to continue to grow, and surgical removal is often recommended. Small tumors that are not growing and do not cause disruptive symptoms might not require immediate treatment.
Doctors may use different measurements to determine the size of an acoustic neuroma. The tumors look like ice cream cones, so the measurement varies depending on whether the tumor is measured vertically or horizontally. The diameter of the ice cream on top the part of the tumor that pushes into the brain stem and cerebellum is what matters, and it should determine the treatment. Proper assessment of the tumors size is one reason to choose a doctor who has experience treating these tumors.
If the brain tumor is larger than 20 to 25 millimeters at the time of diagnosis, your doctor may consider treatment even if your symptoms arent worrisome. Larger tumors can make surgery more complex and raise the risk of damaging hearing, balance and facial nerves.
Severe or Worsening Symptoms
Sometimes a larger acoustic neuroma can cause only minor symptoms, and a small tumor can be incapacitating. Severe facial pain, balance issues and falls can affect quality of life, and treating the tumor might be the best option.
Abnormal Physiological Changes: Large Limbs And Irregular Periods
If your hands and feet are suddenly getting larger, even after youve crossed the growth years, scan for a pituitary tumor.
A tumor in the pituitary gland can cause irregular periods, excessive production of breast milk, development of breasts in men, and excessive body hair. It may also lead to the enlargement of your hands and feet, obesity, and changes in your blood pressure.12 A drooping eyelid or a drooping mouth can indicate a tumor in the brain stem.
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Can Hearing Loss Be A Sign Of A Brain Tumour
The hearing loss, ringing inside the ear, and dizziness is the most common hearing problems that an individual face. However, an individual should consider these hearing problems as the beginning of the brain tumor that grows in between inner ear and brain.
If a person has a symptom of gradual hearing loss in one ear and hearing loss accompanied by dizziness and tinnitus or feeling of fullness in the ear can cause an acoustic neuroma. Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumor that grows very slowly and causes hearing loss. So yes, hearing loss be a sign of a brain tumor.
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Another name of acoustic neuroma is the vestibulocochlear nerve, vestibular schwannomas or neurilemmoma. The acoustic neuroma connects the inner ear with the brain. There are two different parts of acoustic neuroma. One part forwards the sound and the other one send balance information from the inner ear to the brain.
Symptoms of the acoustic neuroma are ringing in the ear called tinnitus, sudden loss of hearing and fullness of ear. Surgical treatment is the only way to get rid of it if the tumor is large.
What Can An Mri Show Of The Brain
MRI can detect a variety of conditions of the brain such as cysts, tumors, bleeding, swelling, developmental and structural abnormalities, infections, inflammatory conditions, or problems with the blood vessels. It can determine if a shunt is working and detect damage to the brain caused by an injury or a stroke.
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Fatigue: Despite Extra Sleep
You may feel more sleepy than usual but even extra sleep might not cure you of the fatigue and lethargy you feel.
You may experience extreme weariness of the body. It could be because of the seizures, headache, or nausea or because your body is using up most of its energy in fighting the tumor. Also, as the tumor makes simple everyday tasks a challenge, the extra amount of concentration and effort you need to put in everything may tire you out.
This sense of fatigue is often not cured by sleep or rest, even though as the tumor grows, you might be sleeping more than usual or falling asleep during the day. The tiredness is often accompanied by apathy, irritability, depression, or negative feelings about yourself and others.11
Tinnitus Is Associated With A Higher Risk Of Benign Brain Tumors: A Nationwide Population
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Diagnosis Of Acoustic Neuroma
- Computed tomography scan this is a specialised x-ray that takes three-dimensional pictures of the inner ear. However, small tumours may be missed by this method.
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan pictures of the inner ear are taken, using radio waves in a strong magnetic field instead of x-rays. MRI scans can usually detect smaller acoustic neuromas than CT scans. A dye may be injected to further highlight the tissues under investigation.
What Causes Acoustic Neuromas
As with other brain tumours, the cause of most acoustic neuromas is unknown, although we do understand some of the risk factors involved.
Its important to know that there is nothing you could have done, or avoided doing, that would have caused you or somebody you know to develop a brain tumour.
However, around 7% of cases are caused by a rare genetic disorder known as neurofibromatosis type 2 .
What is NF-2?
NF-2 is a genetic condition that causes low grade tumours to grow along your nerves. Its caused by a permanent change in a gene that makes the growth of nerve tissue become uncontrolled. In half of all cases of NF-2, the mutation is passed from parent to child. There are genetic tests that can be carried out during pregnancy to test whether your child will have NF-2, but its normally diagnosed after birth.
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Other Signs Of Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic neuromas can also put pressure on other important cranial nerves that are adjacent to where these tumors grow.
These symptoms can be caused by many other, more common health issues such as cholesteatoma, labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis, and Menieres disease. If you have more than a few of these symptoms , your doctor can help you decide whether more testing is necessary.
Why Might A Brain Tumor Cause Tinnitus And Dizziness
There are just a few millimeters of space between the brain and the skull. The adult brain weighing about 3 pounds along with the meninges and cerebrospinal fluid, uses just about every inch of space in the cranial cavity. Any growths, extra fluid, or any kind of swelling can cause serious problems.
The tissues of the brain are delicate and very sensitive to pressure. When tumors develop, parts of the brain can swell or become displaced, putting pressure on the other areas. This is called cerebral edema, and it can lead to increases in your intracranial pressure.
Symptoms of cerebral edema may include:
Any tumor, as well as a number of other injuries and infections, can cause increases in intracranial pressure and cerebral edema. In addition to symptoms caused by overall swelling, damage can also be caused to different parts of the brain from direct pressure or by the tumor.
One example of this is acoustic neuroma . This is a benign tumor that develops on the eighth cranial nerve. Although this tumor is slow-growing and doesnt spread to other parts of the brain or cause cancer, the nerve it develops on helps to control hearing and balance.
Tinnitus and dizziness arent the defining symptoms of this kind of tumor, but theyre commonly reported. In one study, 80 percent of people with acoustic neuromas reported hearing loss in one ear. The second most common symptom was tinnitus in one ear , followed by dizziness, vertigo, and headaches.
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