Blood Pressure Alarms

An Overview of Benign Intracranial Hypertension

Benign Intracranial Hypertension is a condition which results in increased cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) pressure. In medical terms it is also referred to as Pseudotumor Cerebri. The pseudo in the term refers to the fact that this condition mimics the increased CSF pressure which normally takes place when there a brain tumor. However in this condition there is no brain tumor.

Obese adolescent girls and young women are more likely to suffer from it. It takes weeks or months to fully develop and needs to be treated as quickly possible as it can lead to serious consequences such as loss of vision.
The causes of Benign Intracranial Hypertension are numerous, some of which are hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency and iron deficiency or anemia, systemic lupus erythematosus and chronic renal failure. There are certain other medications that are known to cause this condition such as corticosteroids, isotretinoin, minocycline, nitrofurantoin, tetracycline, pancreatin, or natural human growth hormone. However in such cases the condition is reversible once the medication is stopped.

The usual symptoms of Benign Intracranial Hypertension are dull headaches, heavy pressure, double or blurred vision, face numbness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and occasional singing sensation in the ear.

There are certain risks associated with this disease. Young women with this type of hypertension may suffer from an augmented risk of menstrual irregularity. Overweight women are more likely to suffer from this disease than men. Benign Intracranial Hypertension coincides with weight increase, the initial trimester of pregnancy, fluid retention and the postpartum stage.
Reducing weight is the best form of medication for this disease. It is also wise to stop any causative medication. Prednisolone can be used to cure headache in acute condition. Diuretics such as Acetazolamide are efficient at reducing the intracranial pressure. But if these treatments fail, surgical procedures such as Lumboperitoneal or ventriculoperitoneal shunting are employed to ease CSF pressure. If visual complications continue, optic nerve decompression is another surgical procedure which can also be considered.

Whatever be the treatments, the aim is to reduce the increased intracranial pressure and prevent progressive optic nerve damage. It is also important to be under constant medical supervision and have this problem treated as per the doctor’s recommendations. Failure to do so may result in serious consequences.