Retinal Ophthalmologists located in Desoto, Texas & Plano, TX
Although rare, conditions such as papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri can interfere with your vision and damage your optic nerve. At Retina Specialists in Dallas, DeSoto, Plano, Mesquite, and Waxahachie, Texas, the highly experienced ophthalmologists offer comprehensive eye exams to diagnose papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri and customized treatment to protect your vision. Call your nearest office today or make an appointment online for expert eye care.
Papilledema and Pseudotumor Cerebri
What are papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri?
Papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri are conditions related to pressure inside your skull which can cause swelling in your optic nerve.
Specifically, pseudotumor cerebri causes increased intracranial pressure, which can lead to papilloedema — swelling of your optic nerve. When your optic nerve is inflamed or irritated, it causes vision disturbances and increases your risk of vision loss.
Some of the symptoms these conditions cause include:
- Moderate to severe headache behind your eyes
- Blurry or distorted vision
- Double vision
- Flashes of light
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Many conditions could cause these symptoms, so it’s essential to have a comprehensive eye exam to determine the root cause of your symptoms and get appropriate treatment before your vision is permanently damaged.
What causes papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri?
The causes of pseudotumor cerebri aren’t fully understood, but the condition seems to be due to an excessive amount of cerebrospinal fluid in your skull.
Your risk of pseudotumor cerebri increases if you’re obese or take medications like growth hormones or tetracycline. Additionally, health conditions such as lupus, kidney disease, or sleep apnea contribute to your risk.
Papilledema often has an identifiable cause, such as:
- Head injury
- Bleeding on the brain
- Brain tumor
- Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
- Meningitis (inflammation of brain lining)
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
It’s critical to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can get the necessary treatment to protect your vision and restore your health.
How are papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri diagnosed?
The ophthalmologists at Retina Specialists offer comprehensive exams to identify eye health problems such as papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri. They examine the back of your eye and look for swelling in your optic nerve.
If additional testing is necessary to confirm your diagnosis, your ophthalmologist may recommend a brain scan or a lumbar puncture.
If you have papilledema, your ophthalmologist may recommend that you talk to your regular doctor to get treatment for the underlying condition causing the intracranial swelling.
How are papilledema and pseudotumor cerebri treated?
Your ophthalmologist offers customized treatment to relieve your symptoms and improve your ocular health.
Depending on your condition, your ophthalmologist may provide treatment to reduce your pseudotumor cerebri (unexplained intracranial pressure) which then reduces the papilledema (swelling of your optic nerve).
For example, you may benefit from medications to reduce the production of fluid in your eyes or diuretics to reduce your overall fluid retention.
Your doctor may also recommend surgery such as optic nerve sheath fenestration, which creates an opening in the membrane that surrounds your optic nerve to let the extra fluid drain. As the extra pressure subsides, your optic nerve swelling also decreases.
If another health issue such as obesity or hypertension contributes to the pressure in and around your optic nerve, you can take steps to improve your overall health, such as working with your primary care provider.
If you have symptoms of papilledema or pseudotumor cerebri, call Retina Specialists or schedule a consultation online today for expert diagnosis and customized treatments.
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