5 Lesser-Known Signs of Meningiomas

Apr 16, 2024
5 Lesser-Known Signs of Meningiomas
A meningioma is usually not cancerous. Even though it’s usually benign, a meningioma can grow, and its proximity to the brain can cause complications. Keep reading to learn more.

Meningioma is the most common tumor affecting the head. Fortunately, it’s usually not cancerous. Even though it’s benign 90% of the time, a meningioma can still cause brain issues. 

Meningioma symptoms vary widely, depending on the location of the growth. When caught in its early stages, meningioma can be removed through surgery or a combination of surgery and carefully targeted radiation therapy. 

Coast Neurosurgical Associates in Long Beach, California, specializes in diagnosing and treating meningioma. Without intervention, you’re at risk of potential complications as tumor size increases. 

Meningioma 101

Accounting for approximately 30% of primary tumors affecting the brain, meningioma grows from the arachnoid — the middle of three tissue layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningiomas can sometimes affect the spinal cord, although they comprise only a small percentage of all meningiomas. 

It can take years for a meningioma to grow to a size that affects brain tissue and causes symptoms. It’s common for the discovery of symptom-free tumors when a patient receives diagnostic imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for another condition. 

Meningiomas receive classification based on location, spread, type, and potential to remain active after treatment. These classifications are: 

  • Grade I: the most common, small, slow-growing tumors
  • Grade II: less common, with a greater chance of recurrence
  • Grade III: fast-growing malignant tumors

Various types of tumors are included within the three classification grades, usually named for the part of the brain closest to their location. 

Women are more susceptible to meningioma than men, suggesting that female hormones play a role in their development. Exposure to radiation as a child is a known environmental risk factor, and you may have an increased risk with a body mass index (BMI) in the obese range. However, this connection isn’t fully understood. 

A genetic condition called neurofibromatosis 2 increases the risk of developing meningioma as well as other brain tumors.  

Common symptoms

The most common symptoms of meningioma include: 

  • Blurry vision
  • Headache
  • Numbness
  • Seizures
  • Loss of arm and leg strength

Since meningioma can form in many locations, symptoms vary widely. 

5 lesser-known signs of meningioma

Less common symptoms of meningioma sometimes reflect the location of the tumor. 

Loss of smell

Olfactory groove meningiomas grow behind the top of the nose and usually are large before causing symptoms. In addition to loss of smell, tumors in this location can cause personality changes.

Bulging eyes

In addition to blurred vision, meningioma can sometimes cause bulging eyes. Usually the result of sphenoid wing meningioma, other symptoms include altered facial sensations. Intra-orbital meningioma can also cause bulging. 


Several types of meningiomas can contribute to dizziness and loss of balance. These signs could be accompanied by headaches and hearing loss. 

Voice changes

Posterior fossa meningioma affects the back of the head and can have far-reaching effects, including changes to voice and problems with swallowing. Other symptoms include hearing loss, double vision, and facial weakness. 

Memory loss

Gaps in memory, particularly when combined with other symptoms, could be a sign of a meningioma. You may also notice difficulty with speech and recalling words.

Contact Coast Neurosurgical Associates today if you suspect your symptoms might suggest meningioma or another brain condition.