8 Common Symptoms Of Brain Tumors
Brain tumors occur when abnormal cells accumulate in the brain. They can be cancerous (malignant) or unlikely to spread (benign). Since there is a limited amount of space in the brain, even a non-cancerous tumor can cause problems. Brain tumors can interfere with brain and body function, increase inflammation, elevate skull pressure, and destroy brain cells, which leads to neurodegenerative disease. Tumors can form from cells directly in your brain or from cells in other parts of your body. Here are some common symptoms to be aware of.
8. Gradual Vision Loss
People who experience progressive vision loss may not even be aware of it, which makes it hard to associate with a brain tumor. A sign of impaired peripheral vision is when a person keeps bumping into things on the side of the body in which the tumor is located. According to Doctor Christopher Carrubba at Med School Tutors, “We often see this symptom with pituitary tumors that compress the optic chiasm, or part of the visual pathway.”
7. Muscle Weakness
A brain tumor might affect the manner in which you’re able to control your muscles. Even if you do not experience muscle pain, your muscles might not respond to your command to move. Tumors along the right and left motor complex disrupt the signal your brain sends to your muscles, which can result in a complete loss of function. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble moving any particular part of your body as this might be a sign of a brain tumor.
6. Slurred Speech
When a tumor is present in the brain, it may affect your ability to speak or make sounds. Doctor Carrubba said, “Language problems such as stuttering, difficulty naming objects or understanding what others are saying are key symptoms of a tumor in the frontal or temporal lobes, areas of the brain associated with motor function of speech and language comprehension. There are two speech centers in the brain that are located on the left side—Wernicke’s area, which allows us to understand and comprehend speech, and Broca’s area, which activates the muscles that create sound.”
5. Psychiatric Problems
A brain tumor affecting the frontal lobe may have an impact on a person’s behavior. They may become overly aggressive or sexual, or exhibit anger and agitation. Doctor Sumeet Vadera, Neurosurgeon at the University of California-Irvine, said, “Patients suffering from a brain tumor may develop depression, anger or anxiety, even if they don’t commonly exhibit these types of emotions. This is related to tumor irritation or compression of portions of the frontal lobe, which is responsible for many of our personality traits.”
4. Ear Ringing
The area of your brain responsible for processing your ability to hear is called the temporal lobe. It is located at the bottom middle part of the cortex behind your temples. Tinnitus occurs when you hear a constant ringing. It may develop when a tumor is pressing on your temporal lobe. If you experience hearing loss or a constant ringing, it is time to make an appointment with your doctor to see if your symptoms are severe enough to meet with a neurologist.
The brain plays a major role in balance and coordination. Loss of motor function can be due to a brain tumor located in the cerebellum, or the area of the brain that controls coordination and balance. If you suddenly find it hard to walk or balance, especially in the dark, it is a good idea to see a doctor. Motor function affects your ability to walk straight, so if you are leaning toward one side, this may also be a sign of a tumor.
Although headaches are extremely common and could be the result of many different factors, you should be aware of any new headaches that develop daily for no apparent reason. According to Doctor Mike Chen at the Department of Neurosurgery at City of Hope, “These headaches tend to get worse over time and are often present when you wake up in the morning when intracranial pressure is high from lying in bed for hour-long periods of time.”
A pea-sized portion of the brain located at the base called the pituitary gland is responsible for producing hormones that may affect fertility. According to Doctor Chen, “Tumors affecting the pituitary gland can secrete high amounts of hormones or prevent the normal gland from working.” A woman who experiences a brain tumor may not be able to conceive or produce milk after giving birth. Likewise, a male with a brain tumor may lack certain hormones needed to reproduce.