Profile of Hearing in Patients With Unilateral Acoustic Neuromas: The Importance of the Contralateral Ear

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Objective: The aim of this study was to describe hearing in patients with a unilateral acoustic neuroma in relation to the sort and duration of symptoms.

Study Design: The study design was a retrospective clinical study.

Setting: The study was conducted at a tertiary referral center.

Patients: A total of 171 patients with a unilateral acoustic neuroma participated.

Intervention: Diagnostic measures were performed.

Main Outcome Measures: The subjective experience of symptoms, a number of audiometric parameters of the affected and the contralateral side, tumor size, and their mutual relations were measured.

Results: No significant correlation was found between tumor size and audiometric parameters. Significant correlations could be shown between the duration of hearing loss and thresholds in the pure-tone audiogram, the speech reception threshold, and the maximum discrimination in the speech audiogram. Thresholds in the pure-tone audiogram of the contralateral ear were significantly worse than those of the international standard. A significant difference in age between men and women with unilateral acoustic neuromas was found.

Conclusions: Hearing is not worse in patients with larger tumors. The longer the duration of subjective hearing loss, the more severe is hearing impairment. The hearing loss of the contralateral ear might be responsible for the composition of the category of patients in whom an acoustic neuroma is diagnosed effectively. Presumably, demographic features result in an age difference between male and female patients.

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