What is idiopathic intracranial hypertension?
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder that results from an increase in the pressure of the Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF) that cushions and protects the brain and spinal cord. The CSF is constantly produced in the brain and reabsorbed back into the bloodstream at a fairly constant rate. This allows the fluid pressure around the brain to remain constant.
What are the symptoms of idiopathic intracranial hypertension?
Headaches that are generally nonspecific in location, type and frequency and can be associated with nausea and vomiting.
Pulsatile tinnitus is a rhythmic or pulsating ringing heard in one or both ears.
Horizontal double vision can be a sign of pressure on the 6th cranial nerve(s).
Nonspecific radiating pain in the arms or legs (radicular pain).
Transient obscurations of vision (TOV), which are temporary dimming or complete blacking out of vision.
Visual field defects. These defects can occur in the central as well as the peripheral vision.
Loss of color vision.
What causes idiopathic intracranial hypertension?
The cause is usually not known. A common explanation for increased pressure is a problem with the reabsorption of this fluid back into the body, which causes the pressure to increase. Sometimes the cause is determined and is referred to as “secondary” intracranial hypertension.