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Patients who have an acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) usually visit their doctor when they experience dizziness or balance problems, hearing loss or ringing in the ears. Because these symptoms are common to many inner and middle ear conditions, it can be difficult to detect an acoustic neuroma in its early stages.
When you visit the Stanford Brain Tumor Center, our neuro-oncologists begin your evaluation with a:
Hearing test (audiology)
Test of equilibrium and balance (electronystagmography)
Test of hearing and brainstem function (brainstem auditory evoked response)
You may also undergo a neurological exam, which includes the following tests:
Eye movement and vision
Senses of smell and touch
Cognition, including memory and abstract thinking
Your doctor will review any imaging tests of your brain that you have already had. You may need further imaging tests if the scans are inconclusive. These scans are critical in helping pinpoint the location and size of the acoustic neuroma and planning its removal.
The most common scans we use include:
CT scan (computerized tomography): A series of X-ray images at different angles that are combined to produce cross-sectional images
MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging): The use of a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed cross-sectional images
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.