Jan 2010 I found myself having the school nurse where I work periodically check my ear for infection. It felt stuffed up. Nothing. Then spring came and I excused the feeling thinking it was allergies. Coworkers would ask me things and apparently thought I was ignoring them during this time. Summer came and this ear still didn't feel right, so I went to an ENT. A hearing test showed a significant decline when compared to a test performed years prior. Enventually, the MRI showed an AN that is very small, like 7 mm. Since that diagnosis in July, and deciding watch & wait is best, I have (by Nov 2011) lost the rest of the hearing in that ear, began having mild vertigo, ringing has increased in volume, and I have that jittery feeling often in my head. I have tried a hearing aid in my good ear, but it did not improve anything. I had a steroid shot to minimize ringing--no change. Recently Valium for ringing--no change. Vitamins cause the ringing to get worse. I go to chiropractor (which I did before this as well) and wonder if it is actually making things worse. I have gotten a 2nd opinion, and one of the places is Vanderbilt. When I tell the doctors what I am experiencing, I have been told that several symptoms can't be the tumor--like the stuffy ear feeling. I did not have these symptoms prior to 2011, and they really impact life. I seem to deviate from the "norm" especially with losing my hearing so quickly. When I read of treatment options, it seems that surgery will not alleviate my symptoms? I know the hearing is gone but what symptoms will possibly go away with surgery? I would like to know the experiences of others with surgery & GammaKnife and if it's worth the chance even though mine is so small. With these AN situations, it seems like the doctors are very reserved in giving their opinions on what to do. I know there's little data and no guarantees. My next MRI is in February. I'd also like tips on how to make sure I don't leave the appointment with my questions not being answered.