Amy's Story

Woman Receives Treatment to Improve Hearing Loss Caused by Tumors

Hearing loss at any age can be devastating. But it can be especially devastating in a young adult when it can impact your ability to do your job.

In 2002, Amy Haslage, a registered nurse, noted gradual difficulty in hearing. A brain MRI identified that she suffers from neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2), a genetically-inherited disorder, in which tumors grow on both of the auditory nerves. This disease -- which occurs in about one in every 25,000 live births in the U.S. – usually results in profound hearing loss, and may also cause facial paralysis and other neurological symptoms. “In my mid-20s, I knew something was wrong, but my hearing was still good enough to carry on conversations,” the 39-year-old said. “When the condition got worse, and I had difficulty understanding words, I had to do something so that I could continue to work.”

Radiosurgery treatment for one of the tumors temporarily stabilized tumor growth.

Amy Haslage “It worked for five years, but then the tumors started growing again,” the Uniontown, Ohio, resident said. She then underwent surgical removal of the left-sided tumor at a hospital in California, but as a result lost all hearing in that ear. (Of note, surgical treatments for NF2 can be complex and risky due to their location within and around the auditory nerve as well as the brainstem and cerebellum).

Looking to preserve the hearing in her right ear, Amy consulted with the Department of Otolaryngology’s Cliff Megerian, MD. He referred her to the Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center’s Lisa Rogers, DO. In the fall of 2010, Dr. Rogers prescribed intravenous treatments using a drug designed to reduce the blood vessel supply to the tumor. Within a few weeks of treatment, Amy noted improved hearing which continues to the present time. Of greatest importance to Amy, she no longer has difficulty understanding conversations at her job in the hospital.

Additionally, she is tolerating the drug well and the brain MRI shows a reduction in size of the tumor.

“My medical team is phenomenal,” Amy said. “They really have my best interest in mind. I’m very happy with the care I am getting.”