Thanks for the conversation-starter but I find this hypothesis difficult to accept, although it beats the cell-phones-cause-ANs theory. Everyone experiences stress of some kind and as others have stated, if stress were a 'trigger', ANs would be ubiquitous. During my 65 years, I've experienced many life events that were definitely stressful; including job loss and resultant financial problems that threatened our lifestyle (none too luxurious to begin with), a sick baby that had to be hospitalized and undergo surgery (he recovered nicely) a wife with ongoing medical problems, a near-fatal auto accident (in 1989) and so on. I've lost both parents and so has my wife. Friends have died unexpectedly and I still miss them. Yada, yada, yada. I'm certain most of the folks on this board could list similar stressful events in their lives. Despite all this, my AN didn't manifest itself until I was 63, after I had retired and yes, I was very much enjoying my retirement, as was my wife. No boredom or tension at home and a full life in every way that matters to us. My surgeon commented that my AN was 'probably' growing for close to 15 years. It finally grew large enough to manifest symptoms and motivate me to seek treatment. I see no real connection to 'stress' and the unchecked growth of the Schwann cells of the vestibulocochlear nerve. This is obviously a case of blaming 'stress' for whatever can't be adequately explained by medical science. Happens all the time. It is human nature to want concrete answers to vexing problems and someone is always around to offer one, often sans real evidence. Hence, the dubious cellphone-AN theory, fish hatchery-AN theory and now, that old stand-by: 'stress'.
I'm not a doctor or scientist , just another AN patient - and I'll stipulate that this theory may yet prove to have some validity - but I have my doubts. 'Stress' is real, as we all know, but while it's a fact that stress has negative effects on our health, I suspect it is becoming a catchall culprit for problems (such as acoustic neuromas) for which the medical community can't accurately pinpoint a cause.