Increased Pressure Inside the Head

by Dr. Yvonne Alomia

21 year old female came in for her first eye examination.   She reported headaches, but this had been going on for years.  Vision was 20/20.   Dilated exam revealed a swollen optic nerve, which required an immediate referral from her primary care physician to see a neurologist.   Diagnosis was pseudotumor cerebri.

Pseudotumor cerebri occurs when there is an increase in the pressure inside the head. Symptoms can include headaches, ringing in your ears, nausea, and dizziness.   Pseudotumor cerebri is most commonly found in obese women of childbearing age.   The goal of treatment is to improve your symptoms and keep your eyesight from getting worse.   Medications can decrease the pressure inside your head, but sometimes, surgery is necessary.   Early intervention and management are critical.

Swelling of the patient's optic nerve

Swelling of this patient’s optic nerve