[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is an excessive buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain and spinal cord of unknown origin. Because the body cannot absorb and process the CSF properly, intense pressure is created inside the head and surrounding the spinal cord. The term “idiopathic” means that doctors and scientists don’t know the cause of IIH, whereas “benign” intracranial hypertension is more of an outdated term which doesn’t accurately reflect the state of this condition.

How common is Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension?

As girth sizes increase in the United States, IIH is becoming more and more common; approximately 100,000+ cases are diagnosed annually.

What Causes IIH?

Although there is no definitive answer, IIH is typically found in mild-to-severely-obese Caucasian women of childbearing age. Symptoms can include: headache, tinnitus, vision problems and vision loss, which may be temporary or permanent. Occasionally, men are diagnosed with this condition, as are African-American women and other populations, but it’s rare. IIH can be caused by a variety of conditions, but has become more widely linked to people who’ve taken antibiotics such as the tetracycline class of drugs.

What are IIH treatment options?

Although IIH symptoms can be alarming during the path to diagnosis because symptoms can mimic a brain tumor, (hence IIH’s outdated name: pseudotumor cerebri) IIH treatment can be effective. By working under a doctor’s care that includes a long-term plan of eating a healthy diet, exercising, and losing a significant amount of weight, symptoms of IIH can lessen. Prescribed diuretics can also be effective to support short-term weight loss, and for people who have worsening IIH, surgery or stints may be required to reduce symptoms of IIH.

Where can I find more information about IIH?

National Eye Institute
Johns Hopkins Medicine[/vc_column_text][td_block_3 custom_title=”Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Articles” category_id=”1190″ limit=”21″ ajax_pagination=”load_more”][/vc_column][/vc_row]