Note: Mark Ruffalo is not a Ponto user, and he is not endorsing Oticon Medical’s products. He has gone through the experience of having an acoustic neuroma– that’s why we are sharing his incredible story.
There’s a number of Bone Anchored Hearing System users who have been through the experience of overcoming an Acoustic Neuroma. The diagnosis can be shocking and overwhelming. Today, we’re shedding more light on Acoustic Neuromas with information from the Acoustic Neuroma Association— including an incredible video account of actor Mark Ruffalo’s experience.
First things first, what is an Acoustic Neuroma? According to the Acoustic Neuroma Association: “An acoustic neuroma, known as a vestibular schwannoma, is a benign (non-cancerous) growth that arises on the eighth cranial nerve leading from the brain to the inner ear. This nerve has two distinct parts, one part associated with transmitting sound and the other with sending balance information to the brain from the inner ear. The eighth nerve, along with the facial or seventh cranial nerve, lie adjacent to each other as they pass through a bony canal called the internal auditory canal. This canal is approximately 2 cm (0.8 inches) long. It is generally here that acoustic neuromas originate from the sheath surrounding the eighth nerve. The seventh or facial nerve provides motion to the muscles of facial expression.”
Acoustic Neuromas are typically slow growing over time. Continued tumor growth that goes untreated may threaten neurological function and even life. The treatment options are observation, surgical removal or radiation.
Actor Mark Ruffalo knows the experience of having an Acoustic Neuroma all too well. After having a nightmare about having a brain tumor, Mark went to the doctor knowing his request for an MRI would sound paranoid. But to everyone’s surprise, except for Mark, he was right.
Here’s Mark Ruffalo’s story:
If you or someone you know is dealing with an Acoustic Neuroma, the Acoustic Neuroma Association is a great place to turn for support.
What’s the Acoustic Neuroma Association?
“Acoustic Neuroma Association was founded in Carlisle, PA in 1981 by an acoustic neuroma patient, Virginia Fickel Ehr. She found no patient information or patient support available when she had surgery for the removal of an acoustic neuroma in 1977. She resolved that future acoustic neuroma patients should have easy-to-read medical material about their condition, and support and comfort from each other. With the help of her physician, she contacted eight other patients and formed the organization.
The association is incorporated and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The patient-focused, member organization now serves nearly 5,000 members including acoustic neuroma patients, family members, friends and health care professionals providing information regarding all treatment types.”
You can read more here.
The most common first symptom is hearing loss in the tumor ear. So, there are Ponto users who have also been through this journey as well. Kris Siwek is an Acoustic Neuroma surviver who often shares her incredible story. You can learn more about Kris’ experience here. She’s a great resource for what happens before, during and after life with an Acoustic Neuroma.