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An acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma is a slow-growing tumor of the myelin forming cells of the nerve that carries auditory signals to the brain. It usually manifests with hearing loss and balance issues, which can lead to nausea.
In most cases, treatment is unnecessary, although the tumor should be monitored to see if it grows. Hearing aids can be used when appropriate. As most patients develop the neuroma after the age of fifty, the tumor rarely grows large enough to be a danger to health. As the side effects and complications of surgery or radiation therapy are often as bad or worse than the symptoms, aggressive treatment is usually not recommended.