Pons, tumour of

Benign tumour (acoustic neuroma) that originates in either the nerve responsible for hearing or that responsible for balance, which leave the inner ear together and enter the brain as the eighth cranial nerve. As the tumour grows it exerts increasing pressure on its surroundings, causing gradual deafness, often with tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Possible failure of the inner ear can also lead to slight problems of balance, but adaptation usually means that these are not severe. The development of microsurgery has meant that it is often possible, if the tumour is discovered early, to remove it in its entirety, without damaging other nerves or brain tissue.

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