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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Benign Intracranial Hypertension??

 Seabhac - Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:03 am

I have had a tentative diagnosis of BIH made late last year after suffering headaches for about seven months.

Initially the headaches were not so bad, it just felt like my head was being squashed, and i had a dull headache. After a couple of months these progressed to waking up in the morning with a hell of a sore head dizziness and being off balance even when i didn't feel dizzy as such. After being sent to the neurologist last march and having been put on anti migraine medication (amitriptyline, Sonamigran, amongst others) I was put onto diamox. This seemed to reduce the headache intensity a bit and stopped me from waking up with them however it has got to the stage where i now seem to have headaches almost constantly with periods of severe pain lasting a few hours quite often ( as in most days). I also have noticed a lack of vision out of the corners of my eyes and have hadd occasional periods of double vision and the inability to judge distances both very close up and also further away eg crossing roads. The neurologist thinks it is BIH but as there is no papillodema says he cannot guarantee this. I have had visual field tests done which have shown a progressive loss of peripheral vision, though it is not too serious as at feb (when the last one was done). The lumbar punctures I have had have all shown a high ICP pressure (initially 280 but last one was 440). CT and MRI's both came back normal. I have been referred to a neurosurgeon to see about getting a shunt put in, but have been waiting 5 months so far for an appt.

I would like to know if the symptoms i have are all consistent with BIH? Or if there are any other possibilities for the headaches. After having them nearly everyday for over a year they are beginning to seriously affect my life and I have
had to pull out of my university studies as I am not well enough to keep up.

Also I would like to find out what happens after i see the neurosurgeon (which is still over two months away). Is there any more steps between lumbar punctures and putting in a shunt, or does the continual high pressure mean they automatically put in a shunt. I have heard people say that some kind of monitoring is used before they put in a shunt?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated as I am very confused about what is happening and haven't seen my neurologist since march, when he said he was referring me on to the neurosurgeon. I am worried that there may be something they need to do or I may be able to do to try and help ease the headaches as i hate being on so many medications.
 Seabhac - Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:09 am

Sorry forgot to add, i'm now 23 yrs old, female, and relatively healthy, i'm not obese either as i read that can be a cause

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