Glomus tumors, or paragangliomas, are usually benign, slow-growing but highly vascular tumors. When the tumor is present inside the middle ear, the growth can block sound, causing conductive hearing loss. Patients often complain of hearing a pulsating sound (a form of tinnitus) due to the high blood flow within the tumor. If the patient’s inner ear is affected, they may experience sensorineural hearing loss or vertigo (the illusion of motion).
A CT or an MRI scan along with an examination will help to diagnose the nature of the growth and its location. The choices of management include observation, radiation therapy, or surgery.