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Massachusetts Eye and Ear
/assets/MEE/images/mgb-default-thumb.png Vestibular Schwannoma

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Vestibular Schwannoma

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A vestibular schwannoma (formerly known as an acoustic neuroma) is a rare, non-cancerous tumor in the inner ear that presses on the nerves of the inner ear.


A vestibular schwannoma can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, balance problems, and additional effects on function including problems speaking and swallowing. If the tumor grows too large and compresses the brain stem, it can cause a buildup of fluid in the brain, and in rare cases, death.

3Common Symptoms

  • Hearing loss
  • Balance dysfunction
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Diagnosis and Treatment

Vestibular schwannomas are diagnosed by assessing a patient’s history (symptom course), physical examination, hearing tests and an MRI. Treatment options include observation with repeated MRI imaging, surgery or radiation therapy, depending on the size and severity of the tumor.

Meet Our Team

Our Hearing and Balanceteam is comprised of some of the world’s finest ear surgeons, skull base surgeons, balance disorder specialists, and audiologists.

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