Donate to Acoustic Neuroma Research, Patient Care and Education

An acoustic neuroma is a rare type of tumor that presses on the auditory nerve impacting both balance and hearing. In some cases, an acoustic neuroma may grow so large that it presses on the brain such that it blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and affects neurological functioning. Acoustic neuromas can affect one or both ears. The most common type of acoustic neuromas, unilateral (one ear), is typically seen in people between the ages of 30 and 60. Bilateral (both ears) acoustic neuromas, on the other hand, are found in patients with the genetic condition neurofibromatosis-2 (NF2) and can be diagnosed in childhood.

By making a contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of acoustic neuroma-related research and care at Northwestern Medicine, you will enable physicians and scientists to learn more about this rare condition, so that they can continue to provide the finest, most advanced care for patients of all ages who are affected by acoustic neuromas. These rare tumors are caused by several different factors. Bilateral acoustic neuromas usually run in families and are almost always caused by neurofibromatosis-2 (NF2). Unilateral acoustic neuromas are believed to be caused by radiation to the neck or face during childhood or continued exposure to loud noises, music or machinery.

Physicians at Northwestern Medicine work closely with patients to make an accurate diagnosis based on testing, symptoms and family history. Symptoms of acoustic neuromas include:

  • Tinnitus
  • Full feeling in the ear
  • Hearing loss in one ear
  • Headaches
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Clumsiness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Facial paralysis
  • Confusion

Northwestern Medicine offers a number of treatment options for acoustic neuromas, with the goal of preserving as much of an individual’s hearing ability as possible. Aided by your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, physicians and scientists will continue to make strides toward discovering and implementing additional, effective means of treating acoustic neuromas. Current treatments for these rare tumors include:

  • Watchful waiting: Some neuromas are so small that they do not require any immediate treatment
  • Traditional surgery: Part or all of the acoustic neuroma may be removed through the ear or a flap in the skull
  • Gamma Knife radiosurgery: A large dose of radiation is delivered to the acoustic neuroma; this method typically comes with fewer complications than traditional surgery

Acoustic Neuroma Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

At Northwestern Medicine, patients affected by acoustic neuromas benefit from innovative treatment approaches and a superior level of compassionate, individualized care. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will provide meaningful support to care providers and patients alike as they confront the challenges of acoustic neuromas. Through your generosity, you will fuel progress that ultimately will improve many lives.

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