An acoustic neuroma and heart palpitations can be associated with each other, but if your heart palpitations are really beginning to worry you, you should be examined by a cardiologist.

Any association between an acoustic neuroma and a thumping sensation in your chest is just that: an association.

There is no cause and effect, even though it may seem this way.

“Acoustic tumor should not cause palpitations, as the tumor does not affect the centers of the heart that regulate the heartbeat,” explains Hamid R. Djalilian, MD, Director of Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

“However, the diagnosis of acoustic neuroma can cause stress and anxiety and cause palpitations.”

In fact, for some individuals with health anxiety, just reading about an acoustic neuroma – and realizing that their new-onset symptoms are matching up pretty closely – can trigger palpitations of the heart.

“It is clearly distressing when you find out about a brain tumor,” says Dr. Djalilian, “but of all types of brain tumor to have, this is probably one of the most benign types that one could get.”

An acoustic neuroma does not metastasize. It also grows in the inner ear canal, which technically is part of the brain.

When there are no symptoms, but this slow growing tumor just happens to be discovered by accident with imaging for an unrelated issue, the treatment is usually annual surveillance with MRI to monitor growth.

Dr. Djalilian says, “Palpitation is more likely to be caused by caffeine than an acoustic tumor.”

If you fear that you have an acoustic neuroma, remind yourself that this benign condition affects only one out of 100,000 people in the U.S.

And even if you did end up being diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma (also called vestibular Schwannoma), with proper treatment it is never fatal.

dr. djalilianDr. Djalilian’s areas of expertise include complex ear surgery, hearing loss, balance disorders, facial nerve paralysis and skull base surgery. He conducts research in several areas related to cochlear implants and acoustic neuroma.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Shutterstock/Oleg Golovnev