Headache attributed to idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), also known as Pseudotumor Cerebri, is likely due to high pressure within the skull caused by the over-production or poor absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The disorder is most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms of IIH which include headache, nausea, vomiting, and pulsating sounds within the head, closely mimic symptoms of large brain tumors. Obesity, other treatable diseases, and some medications can cause raised intracranial pressure and symptoms of IIH.  A thorough medical history and physical examination is needed to evaluate these factors. If a diagnosis of IIH is confirmed, repeated ophthalmologic exams are required to monitor for any changes in vision. Medications may be used to reduce fluid buildup and to relieve pressure. Weight loss through dieting or weight loss surgery and cessation of certain medications (including oral contraceptives, tetracycline, and a variety of steroids) may lead to improvement. Surgery may be needed to remove pressure on the optic nerve. Therapeutic shunting, which involves surgically inserting a tube to drain CSF into the abdominal cavity, may be needed to remove excess CSF and relieve CSF pressure. This disorder may cause progressive, permanent visual loss in some patients. 1 - Content taken from the NIH.Gov NINDS Pseudotumor Cerebri Information Page

Headache attributed to idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH)

(aka Pseudotumor Cerebri)

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pseudotumor cerebri