The stages of acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) may be thought of as 1) a period of development; 2) diagnosis; and 3) treatment or management.
The development stage of acoustic neuroma varies depending on the type of schwannoma. In the case of unilateral acoustic neuroma, affecting only one ear, the tumor grows very slowly and symptoms often do not appear until age 30 and as late as age 60. In the case of bilateral acoustic neuroma, the cause is hereditary and the condition exists at birth, although symptoms may not appear until the teen years.
For the patient, the diagnosis stage of acoustic neuroma begins with the early symptoms of hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or vertigo, continuing with tests to isolate the cause.
The next stage of acoustic neuroma for the patient is determined with the doctor based on the results of tests. The strategy may involve surgery, radiation, or even monitoring