An acoustic neuroma is a tumor that is noncancerous or benign that affects the nerves running from the inner ear to the brain.
This prevents the nerves that are responsible for hearing and balance from properly functioning, resulting in hearing loss and tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
In later stages, an acoustic neuroma may affect the cerebellum and brainstem nerves, and may increase brain pressure. These can have life-threatening effects. However, the tumor does not spread to other areas of the body.
Certain acoustic neuroma names include acoustic neurinoma, vestibular schwannoma, and auditory nerve tumor.
A layer of cells called Schwann cells by doctors covers nearly all healthy nerves in the body. Schwann cells provide nerve impulses with an insulation and protection. If they start multiplying over the eighth cranial nerve too quickly, acoustic neuroma occurs.
Over a number of years, the tumor normally develops gradually but finally the symptoms may appear unexpectedly.
Acoustic neuroma is rare. It affects about 1 in every 100,000 people according to the National Association of Rare Diseases (NORD). There are around 2,500 new diagnoses each year in the United States, and it usually appears between the ages of 30 and 60 years.
Treatment depends on several factors, including:
- age of the affected individual
- general health of the person
- location and tumor size
A doctor will in some cases prescribe watchful waiting. If the tumor is small or growing slowly, then no further action may be required.
If care is required, as we explain here there are many choices.
This is a kind of radiation therapy which precisely targets the tumor with radiation. Doctors also call it the “gamma knife,” and consider it a non-invasive treatment.
A doctor uses local anesthesia to numb the scalp and then a lightweight head frame is attached.
Imaging scans identify the tumor location and show the doctor where the radiation beams should be applied to.
Over multiple sessions the individual may need treatment. It may also take weeks , months, or years to feel the treatment ‘s effects and often the tumor returns.
Radiosurgery is typically only an option if the tumor is 3 centimeters (cm) or less across.
This procedure helps a surgeon to extract all or part of the tumor using special instruments, through an incision in the skull under general anesthesia.
Occasionally, surgeons can remove only part of the tumor because removing all of it could damage facial nerves. Damage to the facial nerves could lead to facial paralysis.
A doctor can use radiosurgery to reduce the size or restrict tumor growth, or to remove any remaining tumor traces after microsurgery. Careful radiation targeting allows the doctor to minimize damage to healthy tissue around the tumour.
A doctor can monitor the person’s recovery after surgery and test for symptom recurrence.
Sometimes, after surgery, there is a high risk of hearing loss, especially if the person has a tumor on every acoustic nerve. In this case the doctor may suggest that surgery be delayed for as long as possible.
Other side effects of treatment may include:
- facial weakness or numbness
- reduction in mental alertness if blood clots or a blockage of cerebrospinal fluid occur
- possible eye problems, including double vision or a drooping eyelid if treatment interferes with nerves
Researchers are currently looking into the following as possible future treatments aids:
- a role for aspirin in limiting tumor growth
- the use of new drugs to inhibit the cell mechanisms that cause the tumor to develop
Symptoms of an acoustic neuroma include:
- hearing loss in one ear in 90 percent of people with acoustic neuroma
- tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- dizziness, loss of balance, and vertigo if the tumor affects the inner ear
- loss of sensation, sometimes affecting one side of the face and mouth
- loss of the sense of taste on the back half of the tongue
Headaches, vomiting, and altered consciousness may occur when the brain is under pressure from a large tumor. Problems with vision can sometimes arise.
Acoustic neuroma is a slow-growing tumor but if not treated, it can move against essential brain structures and become life-threatening.
Acoustic neuroma size grading
An acoustic neuroma is:
- Small — when under 2 cm in size
- Medium — when 2 to 4 cm
- Large — when 4 cm or more
It is unknown exactly what makes Schwann cells replicate and contributes to an acoustic neuroma. There is in most cases no clear cause. There can be several risk factors, however, including:
Age: Acoustic neuroma tend to appear between the ages of 30 to 60 years
Family history: Neurofibromatosis type 2 can run in families. However, this accounts for only 5 percent of cases.
Radiation exposure: Significant exposure to radiation to the head and neck during childhood may increase the risk later in life.
Studies have suggested that certain cases may have to do with long-term exposure to loud noise. People have also hypothesized that the use of mobile phones could help grow an acoustic neuroma, but research does not support this.
Neurofibromatosis type 2
Patients with NF2 usually have many tumors that affect the spinal cord and brain and can interact with numerous nerves and functions of the body
A doctor will conduct an evaluation and ask the person what their symptoms are.
If they suspect an acoustic neuroma, then they are likely to order a head MRI scan. This mri procedure will reveal that there is a tumor, where it is and how large it is.
The individual may undergo a hearing test, a balance test, and a brainstem function test to rule out other causes of dizziness, hearing loss or vertigo.
Certain disorders with similar signs include:
Other conditions with similar symptoms include:
- meningioma, a tumor that develops on the brain lining
- Meniere’s disease
- neuritis, an inflammation of the nerves
- atherosclerosis, when the blood vessels narrow
Several complications can arise, including:
- Hearing loss: This may persist even after treatment.
- Dizziness and loss of balance: If this occurs, it can make daily activities difficult to do.
- Facial palsy: If surgery, or rarely, the tumor itself, affects the facial nerve, which is close to the acoustic nerve, the face may droop on one side, and swallowing and speaking clearly may be difficult. This is facial palsy, also known as Bell’s palsy.
- Hydrocephalus: If a large tumor presses against the brainstem, this can affect the flow of fluid between the spinal cord and the brain. If fluid accumulates in the head, it can lead to hydrocephalus.
There’s no way to avoid acoustic neuroma, but scientists are looking at ways to use gene therapy to regulate Schwann cell overproduction.
Anyone interested in acoustic neuroma clinical trials can click here to find out more.
Symptoms, treatment, and causes of ear infections
Infections in the middle ear can be caused by viruses or bacteria. These frequently cause in pain, inflammation, and fluid accumulation.
Before they become three years old, almost 75% of youngsters will have had at least one ear infection. The most common reason for a child’s visit to the doctor is an ear infection.
Glue ear, secretory otitis media, middle ear infection, and serous otitis media are all terms for ear infections.
Infections of the ear are widely understood, and their frequent recurrence necessitates ongoing investigation. This article discusses the symptoms and causes of ear infections, as well as the treatment choices and diagnostic methods available.
What is it?
A bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear is known as an ear infection. Inflammation and fluid buildup in the ear’s interior cavities are caused by this infection.
The middle ear is a space behind the eardrum that is filled with air. It has vibrating bones that translate sound from outside the ear into messages that the brain can understand.
Ear infections hurt because the swelling and accumulation of extra fluid puts pressure on the eardrum.
An ear infection can be acute or chronic. Chronic ear infections might harm the middle ear permanently.
An ear infection is frequently preceded by a cold, flu, or allergic reaction. These increase mucus in the sinuses, causing the eustachian tubes to discharge fluid slowly. The nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes will all be inflamed during the initial illness.
The role of eustachian tubes
The eustachian tubes run from the middle ear to the throat’s rear. These tubes’ ends open and reopen to control air pressure in the middle ear, restock air, and drain natural secretions.
The eustachian tubes can become blocked due to a respiratory infection or allergies, resulting in an accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. If this fluid becomes bacterially contaminated, infection may result.
Young children’s eustachian tubes are smaller and more horizontal than those of older children and adults. This implies that fluid is more likely to pool in the tubes instead of draining away, raising the risk of ear infection.
The role of adenoids
Adenoids are tissue pads found in the back of the nasal cavity. They respond to bacteria and viruses in the air and help the immune system function. The adenoids, on the other hand, can sometimes trap bacteria. The eustachian tubes and middle ear may get infected and inflamed as a result of this.
The adenoids are adjacent to the eustachian tube entrances and can cause the tubes to close if they expand. The adenoids in children are larger and more active than those in adults. Children are more likely to get ear infections as a result of these factors.
The signs and symptoms in adults are simple. Adults with ear infections suffer from ear pain and pressure, as well as ear fluid and hearing loss. Children are exposed to a broader spectrum of symptoms. These are some of them:
- ear pain, especially when lying down
- difficulty sleeping
- difficulty hearing
- lack of appetite
- tugging or pulling at the ear
- crying more than normal
- loss of balance
In general, there are three types of ear infections.
Acute otitis media (AOM)
The most common and least dangerous type of ear infection is AOM. The fluid beneath the eardrum gets infected and bloated, and the middle ear becomes infected and swollen. Fever is another possibility.
Otitis media with effusion (OME)
There may be some fluid behind the eardrum after an ear infection has cleared. Although a person with OME may not show symptoms, a doctor will be able to detect any lingering fluid.
Chronic otitis media with effusion (COME)
COME refers to fluid returning to the middle ear on a regular basis, whether or not an infection is present. This reduces your ability to fight other infections and has a detrimental influence on your hearing.
Ear infection testing is a simple procedure, and a diagnosis can often be determined solely on the basis of symptoms.
To examine for fluid behind the eardrum, the doctor will usually use an otoscope, which is a light-attached tool.
A pneumatic otoscope is sometimes used by a doctor to check for infection. This device uses a puff of air to check for retained fluid in the ear. The eardrum will move less than normal if there is any fluid behind it.
If the doctor is unsure, he or she may perform further tests to confirm a middle ear infection.
The doctor employs a device that shuts up the ear canal and changes the pressure inside it. The eardrum movement is measured by the instrument. This allows the doctor to determine the middle ear pressure.
The eardrum is bouncing sound against the eardrum in this technique. The amount of sound that bounces back shows the level of fluid buildup. The bulk of sound is absorbed by a healthy ear, whereas an infected ear reflects more soundwaves.
A clinician may employ tympanocentesis if an ear infection has not responded well to treatment. A small hole is made in the eardrum and a small amount of fluid is drained from the inner ear during this treatment. The infection’s cause can then be determined using this fluid.
Antibiotic treatment is required for infants under the age of six months to help prevent the spread of infection. Amoxicillin is frequently used as an antibiotic.
Unless the kid shows signs of a severe infection, doctors usually recommend monitoring the child without antibiotics for children aged 6 months to 2 years.
Ear infections usually go away on their own, and the only prescription required is pain relief. Antibiotics are only used in circumstances that are more serious or last longer.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) advises patients to be on the lookout for:
- children aged 6 to 23 months who have experienced mild inner ear pain in one ear for less than 48 hours and a temperature of less than 102.2° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius)
- children aged 24 months and over with mild inner ear pain in one or both ears for less than 48 hours and a temperature of less than 102.2°F
Antibiotics are rarely recommended for children above the age of two. Antibiotic resistance develops as a result of overuse. Serious infections may become more difficult to treat as a result of this.
For persistent infections, the AAFP recommends acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or eardrops as pain relievers. These are useful for reducing fever and pain.
A warm compress, such as a towel, can help to relieve the pain in the affected ear.
If you have recurrent ear infections for several months or a year, your doctor may recommend a myringotomy. A surgeon creates a small cut in the eardrum to allow the build-up of fluid to be released.
To help air out the middle ear and prevent future fluid buildup, a very small myringotomy tube is implanted. These tubes are typically left in place for 6 to 12 months before falling out naturally rather than requiring manual removal.
- Ear infections are very frequent, particularly among children. This is linked to a developing immune system and variations in ear architecture. There is no surefire way to avoid infection, however there are a few things you can do to lower your chances:
- Ear infections are less common in children who have been vaccinated. Inquire with your doctor about immunizations for meningitis, pneumococcal disease, and the flu.
- Wash your hands, as well as your child’s, frequently. This can help your child avoid having colds and flu by preventing bacteria from spreading to them.
- Second-hand smoking should never be exposed to a child. Ear infections are more common in infants who spend time with people who smoke.
- If at all possible, breastfeed infants. This aids in the improvement of their resistance.
- Feeding a newborn from a bottle while sitting up reduces the risk of milk going into the middle ear. When a baby is lying down, do not allow them to sip on a bottle.
- Allow your child to play with ill children as little as possible, and limit their exposure to group care or big groups of children.
- Antibiotics should only be used when needed. Ear infections are more common in children who have had an ear infection in the last three months, especially if antibiotics were used to treat it.
Ear infections are a common occurrence in most children’s lives. They can be unpleasant and debilitating, but if appropriately handled, they pose very few long-term issues.
Causes, symptoms, treatment of psoriasis in the ears
Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by an autoimmune disease. In some parts of the body, such as the ears, a thick layer of skin cells can form.
It usually affects the elbows, knees, legs, back, and scalp, although it can also affect more sensitive body parts.
Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune condition in the United States, and it comes in a variety of degrees of severity.
This article discusses the causes of psoriasis in the ears as well as treatment alternatives.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system, which causes the fast development of extra skin cells. Experts aren’t sure whatcauses causing it.
It takes roughly 28 days for healthy skin cells to form. The body eliminates old skin cells during this time to make place for new ones.
In people with psoriasis, the body produces new skin cells every 3 to 4 days, leaving little time for old cells to slough.
This results in the accumulation of old and new cells on the affected areas, resulting in thick, red or silvery scales. These scales are often itchy, crack, and bleed, and they can be uncomfortable.
Researchers are still trying to figure out why psoriasis arises in certain parts of the body, including why some people get it in their ears while others don’t. They do know, however, that it cannot be passed from person to person.
According to a report published in the journal American Family Physician, psoriasis is not contagious. Scratching or touching does not cause psoriasis or transfer it to other parts of the body.
Psoriasis around the ears
People with psoriasis in their ears are extremely uncommon. However, if this occurs, an individual’s emotional and physical well-being may be jeopardised.
Psoriasis can cause the skin rough and scaly. Self-consciousness may be felt by people who have symptoms on their face and ears.
Because the skin on the face is frequently more delicate than that on the elbows, knees, and scalp, some treatments may be excessively harsh for this area. As a result, ear psoriasis might be more difficult to cure.
A blockage can occur if scales and wax build up inside the ear. Itching, pain, and hearing loss may cause from this obstruction.
Scales should be kept out of the ear canal to avoid hearing loss and discomfort.
Psoriasis might worsen over time for certain people. This can happen when something sparks a flare, but it’s often unknown why some people’s psoriasis spreads or worsens. New parts of the body, such as the ears, can be affected at any time.
There is no link between psoriasis in the ears and cleanliness, contact, or other things.
Anyone with psoriasis in their ears should see a doctor to find out which psoriasis treatments are safe to use in their ears.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, it is generally managed with treatments.
People who have psoriasis in their ears may need constant medical attention to keep flares under control and avoid problems like hearing loss.
Some psoriasis drugs should not be used in the ears. Certain topical lotions and ointments, for example, may irritate the fragile eardrum. People should inquire about drugs that are safe for the ear canal with their doctor.
Among the treatment options available are:
- Eardrops containing liquid steroids.
- In addition, liquid steroids may be used in conjunction with another psoriasis treatment, such as a vitamin D cream.
- Shampoos with antifungal properties to help clean the ear and kill fungus.
- Medications that help the immune system work more efficiently.
- A few drops of heated olive oil to moisturise and remove wax inside the ears and keep them clean
If psoriasis in the ear causes discomfort or interferes with hearing, a specialist can safely and effectively remove the scales and wax.
It is critical not to attempt to remove the scales by inserting things into the ears.
Pushing the debris deeper into the ear can cause in a blockage, eardrum damage, or skin injury.
A doctor may give a systemic drug if the symptoms are mild to severe. Biologics, a relatively new class of medications, can treat the underlying causes of psoriasis.
The causes of psoriasis differ from individual to person. Certain factors can briefly aggravate psoriasis before it returns to normal for some people.
Others see their scales and other symptoms get worse over time.
In any case, psoriasis people should strive to avoid triggers wherever feasible. Those who have psoriasis in their ears may notice that a flare affects their hearing, which can be extremely aggravating and frustrating.
The following are some of the most common psoriasis triggers:
- Stress: While it may not always be feasible to avoid the causes of stress, being able to manage it can help prevent flare-ups. Relaxation, exercise, deep breathing, and meditation may all be beneficial.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as those for high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, mental health disorders, and malaria, might aggravate psoriasis. People with psoriasis should work with their doctors to discover treatments that do not exacerbate their condition.
- Cuts, scrapes, sunburn, and other skin injuries: Any type of skin trauma might cause in a new case of psoriasis in the affected area.
- Certain illnesses: When an infection strikes, the immune system goes into overdrive. This can also cause psoriasis flare-ups. Strep throat, ear infections, tonsillitis, and even regular colds can all cause flare-ups.
Avoiding triggers, whether on the ears, face, or other parts of the body, is an important component of controlling this condition.
Hearing loss and psoriasis
Even if psoriasis does not damage the skin in and around the ears, a person may nevertheless experience hearing loss.
People with psoriasis are more prone to acquire abrupt deafness, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology.
This type of hearing loss might happen in a matter of minutes or over the course of a few days. People over the age of 50 are more likely to be affected by it.
The cause of sudden deafness in psoriasis is unknown, however it could be linked to the immune system harming part of the inner ear. Within 2–3 weeks, almost half of those who have abrupt deafness regain some or all of their hearing.
Doctors may advise that people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have regular hearing tests to ensure that any abnormalities are detected and treated early.
Living with psoriasis in the ears
Many people suffer from psoriasis, which can be emotionally and physically draining, but with the help of a doctor, they can generally manage the condition.
Finding an effective treatment, whether the flares occur in the ears or elsewhere, is critical to reducing symptoms and flares.
Hearing tests and ear examinations should be done on a regular basis for people who have psoriasis in their ears so that any difficulties can be addressed as soon as feasible.
Because everyone with psoriasis reacts to drugs differently, finding the proper treatment may take some time. Some people’s psoriasis medicine stops working over time, necessitating the use of a different treatment.
People with psoriasis should be able to live full, active lives once they find a suitable treatment.
Psoriasis is a painful, long-term skin condition that can affect the inside and outside of the ear.
It is more difficult to treat than psoriasis elsewhere on the body when it does this. Hearing loss can occur as a result of the condition, both temporary and permanent. Although a complete treatment is not yet attainable, people can control their symptoms with condition and live a normal life.
To avoid serious flare-ups, get regular hearing tests and consultations.
9 powerful earache home treatments
Earaches are often dismissed as a small annoyance, but they can be really painful. Some home cures can help while you wait for medical attention or antibiotics to take effect.
Ear pain can be excruciating, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or do much else other than think about it. An earache is particularly tough for many children to live with.
People with significant ear pain should always consult a doctor, especially if it is their first time. However, there are several home treatments that can be used to relieve less severe earaches or to reduce pain.
This article looks at nine excellent home remedies for people who are suffering from ear pain.
Causes of ear pain
The most prevalent cause of ear pain is ear infections. Inflammation and pressure building in the ear when it becomes infected can cause excruciating pain.
Because infections from other parts of the body can impact the ear, people with ear infections frequently experience other symptoms such as sinus pressure or a sore throat. An ear infection can also be treated as a separate condition. The majority of ear infections are caused by bacteria rather than viruses.
An ear infection can only be diagnosed by a doctor. Antibiotics should not be taken without a prescription, nor should symptoms be mistaken for an ear infection.
Earaches, on the other hand, are not usually caused by an ear infection. Ear pain can be caused by a variety of factors.
These are some of them:
- Referred pain: Infections or inflammation elsewhere in the body could cause this. A toothache, for example, might cause agonising pain in the ear.
- Chronic conditions: TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder is one of them.
Infections of the skin: If they’re in or near your ear.
- Allergic reactions: These could come from a variety of sources, including soap, shampoo, and jewellery.
- Water: If it becomes stuck in the ear, it might cause pain.
- Pressure: Changes in altitude might have an impact on ear pressure. This normally goes away on its own, with a popping sound.
Ear infections can spread to the jaw and other parts of the body if not addressed. They can also cause the ear and result in dangerously high fevers.
People should see a doctor if they have symptoms of an ear condition that do not go away on their own after a day or two. People should seek medical help right once if the pain is severe, accompanied by a high fever, or includes hearing loss.
9 earache home treatments
If an earache isn’t too bad, or if a person is waiting for medical treatment to work, they might want to try these home remedies to reduce the pain.
Here are nine great home remedies for people who are suffering from ear pain:
1. OTC (over-the-counter) drugs
NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications) can temporarily relieve earache pain. People who are suffering from ear pain should attempt the following remedies:
It’s important to remember that giving aspirin to newborns and young children is dangerous. This is due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.
Before giving over-the-counter medications to a kid under the age of two, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises parents to consult a doctor.
In newborns and young children, these medications can have substantial negative effects. It’s also worth noting that the recommended dosage for children is frequently lower than the recommended dosage for adults.
Heat from an electric heating pad or a hot pack can help to relieve ear inflammation and pain.
For 20 minutes, place a heat pad in the ear. People should use the heated pad to massage their neck and throat for the best benefits.
The heating pad should not be too hot to bear. Never fall asleep with a heating pad on your body, and never let a child use a hot pack without adult supervision.
An earache can be relieved with the use of a cold pack.
Wrap ice in paper towels or use a cold pack that has been frozen and then covered with a light cloth. For 20 minutes, apply this to the ear and the area immediately beneath the ear.
The cold should not be painful, and parents should not apply ice to their children’s skin.
Heat, rather than cold, provides relief for some people. Others find that alternating heat and cold packs (20 minutes hot, 20 minutes cold) provides the most effective pain relief.
4. Ear drops
Fluid and earwax can cause pressure in the ear, which can be relieved using ear drops.
Before using ear drops on a child, people should read the recommendations carefully and consult a doctor.
People should only use ear drops for a few days because they are not a substitute for prescription ear drops or antibiotics. People should see a doctor if their symptoms reoccur.
It’s important to note that ear drops should not be used on a youngster who has tubes in his or her ears or whose eardrum has ruptured.
Ear pain that radiates from the jaw or teeth, or that causes a tension headache, can be relieved with gentle massage.
The tender area, as well as any surrounding muscles, can be massaged. Massage the muscles of the jaw and neck, for example, if the area behind the ear hurts.
Massage may also aid in the relief of ear infection pain.
- Apply downward pressure starting just behind the ears and moving down the neck.
- Work your way forward to the front of the ears while continuing to apply downward pressure.
This form of massage may aid in the drainage of extra fluid from the ears, as well as preventing the pain from worsening.
Garlic has long been used as a pain reliever in folk medicine. It may have antibacterial characteristics that can help fight infection, according to some research.
It should not be used as a substitute for antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Instead, consider include garlic in your antibiotic regimen to hasten relief.
Try eating a garlic clove every day to prevent ear infections.
Garlic ear drops may also help to relieve pain and prevent infection from worsening. Cook two or three cloves till brown in two teaspoons mustard or sesame seed oil, then strain. After that, put a drop or two in each ear.
Onions, like garlic, can help fight infection and relieve pain. Onions, like garlic, are not a substitute for medical care.
Microwave an onion for a minute or two to soften it. After that, filter the liquid and put a few drops in each ear. Allowing the liquid to leak out of the ear after lying down for 10 minutes is a good idea. As needed, repeat the process.
Sucking can assist relieve pressure in the Eustachian tubes by reducing pressure in the tubes.
Allowing and encouraging nursing babies to nurse as frequently as possible may make them feel better. Hard candy or cough drops can be sucked by both adults and children.
9. Breast milk
Antimicrobial characteristics are found in breast milk. According to certain studies, a mother’s breast milk alters depending on the bacteria that a newborn is exposed to.
This suggests that in babies, breast milk is the most effective. Adults, on the other hand, may benefit from breast milk, according to some authorities. To gain the maximum benefits from breast milk, infants and children should continue to nurse.
Topical administration of breast milk to nursing babies, children, and adults may also be beneficial. Breast milk is unlikely to cause any major negative effects, even if it doesn’t.
People can try putting a few drops of breast milk in each ear and repeating the procedure as needed.