If you’re experiencing a fullness or pressure in one ear that comes and goes and you fear that this might be an acoustic neuroma, the chances that this symptom is being caused by this benign tumor is very unlikely.

It’s even more unlikely if there are no other symptoms such as hearing loss and tinnitus.

“Fullness of the ear is primarily caused by an abnormality in air pressure regulation behind the ear drum,” says Hamid R. Djalilian, MD, Director of Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

“This most commonly occurs from Eustachian tube dysfunction which can be brought on by allergies, acid reflux or smoking.

“It is very rarely associated with acoustic tumors.” This isn’t to say that an acoustic neuroma can never cause a sensation of fullness or pressure in the ear.

It can happen, and it’s even on symptom lists for acoustic neuroma. But this doesn’t make it likely.

Dr. Djalilian continues, “Ear fullness can also be caused by the condition that is related to the inner ear or something associated with Meniere’s disease or migraine.”

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.