The link between deafness and acoustic neuromas lies in the tumour’s location in the bony canal from the ear to the brain. The hearing nerve also passes through this canal, meaning normal nerve function is affected as the tumour grows.
Hearing loss may be gradual at first, and is limited to the side of the tumour. Single-sided deafness is therefore one of the main indicators to scan for presence of a tumour. The extent of deafness for people with an acoustic neuroma depends on the size and location of the tumour. For many, total deafness in one side may occur and is a risk factor of some treatment methods; particularly with the translabyrinthine surgical approach, when it is to be expected that hearing in the affected ear cannot be preserved.
Acoustic neuromas are rare and are not the only cause of single-sided deafness. Any suspicion of single-sided deafness should be checked out by a health professional.