Intracranial Hypertension 101: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

The medical disease known as intracranial hypertension (IH) is characterized by increased blood pressure around the brain. This blog post provides an in-depth description of IH, including information on its causes, symptoms, and available treatments.

Symptoms of Intracranial Hypertension

The following are the primary symptoms of intracranial hypertension:

  1. Headache:
    • The most common symptom of IH is a persistent, throbbing headache.
    • Usually, headaches feel in the morning or when you’re lying down.
  2. Vision Problems:
    • Visual problems such as double or blurry vision, are common signs.
    • Visibility changes could be a sign of high blood pressure around the optic nerves.
  3. Nausea:
    • One important symptom is nausea, which is sometimes accompanied by vomiting.
    • People with IH feel nauseated sometimes, especially when they are having headaches.
  4. Papilledema:
    • The main symptom is papilledema or swelling of the optic disc.
    • Regular eye examinations may help in detecting this symptom, indicating high intracranial pressure.
  5. Tinnitus:
    •  Ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears is a possible symptom of IH.
    • For an accurate diagnosis, keeping an eye on auditory symptoms is essential.
  6. Neck Pain:
    • Some people with IH have tightness or pain in their necks.
    • When combined with other symptoms of IH, this symptom needs urgent medical attention.
  7. Dizziness:
    • Increased intracranial pressure has been associated with episodes of vertigo or dizziness.
    • Understanding the correlation between IH and dizziness
  8. Transient Visual Obscurations:
    • Brief episodes of visual obscuration, in which vision temporarily blurs or disappears.
    • These brief events need to be reported to doctors since they can be indicative of IH.
  9. Difficulty Concentrating:
    • There may be cognitive symptoms like difficulty focusing or mental fogginess.
    • Changes in cognitive function must be monitored.
  10. Back Pain:
    • Pain in the back associated with IH is another possible symptom to consider.
    • Accurate diagnosis depends on separating IH-related back pain from other causes.

Causes of Intracranial Hypertension

Intracranial Hypertension (IH) can arise from various causes, ranging from idiopathic factors to underlying medical conditions. Understanding the diverse etiological factors is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective management. Here are the primary causes of Intracranial Hypertension:

  1. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH):
    • IH is classified as idiopathic IH because the precise cause of the disease is unknown in an important number of cases.
    • Women of childbearing age are the main victims of idiopathic IH, and investigations are still being conducted to solve the mysteries surrounding this type of illness.
  2. Medication-Induced Intracranial Hypertension:
    • IH is a known side effect of some medications.
    • Antibiotics like tetracycline and contraception, particularly for women, are two examples.
  3. Secondary Causes:
    • Intracerebral hypertension (IH) may be the result of underlying conditions.
    • Common secondary causes include:
      • Tumors:  Brain tumors, both benign and malignant, can cause increased intracranial pressure.
      • Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis:  IH can result from blood clots in the venous sinuses of the brain that interfere with normal fluid outflow.
      • Meningitis and Encephalitis: An increase in blood pressure may result from infections affecting the membranes of the brain.
  4. Obstruction of Cerebral Veins or Sinuses:
    • IH can be increased by factors that affect the brain’s natural blood or cerebrospinal fluid flow.
    • This might include diseases such as venous sinus structural anomalies or arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
  5. Head Trauma:
    • Increased intracranial pressure can result from head trauma that alters the normal dynamics of the cerebrospinal fluid.
    • It is important to monitor people who have had head trauma to identify IH early on.
  6. Systemic Diseases:
    • Intracerebral pressure can be affected indirectly by some systemic disorders, including chronic kidney disease and lupus.
    • To prevent IH, managing these underlying diseases is essential.
  7. Sleep Apnea:
    • High intracranial pressure has been linked to sleep apnea, a disorder defined by breathing pauses during sleep.
    • In some cases, treating sleep apnea may help reduce the symptoms of IH.
  8. Obesity:
    • Obesity is a known risk factor for IH, especially in cases of fast weight increase.
    • Treatment plans IH may include weight-management strategies.

Diagnosis Process

Intracranial Hypertension 101: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options


Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture is frequently used to measure the cerebrospinal fluid pressure to diagnose IH. This process helps confirm whether increased intracranial pressure is occurring.

Imaging Tests

A variety of imaging techniques, including CT and MRI scans, are essential for diagnosing IH because they provide fine-grained images of the brain and point to possible causes.

Treatment Options

The therapy of intracranial hypertension (IH) requires a comprehensive approach that includes lifestyle and medication modifications into consideration. The goals of treatment are to lower intracranial pressure, treat underlying causes, and alleviate symptoms. Here are the primary treatment options for Intracranial Hypertension:

  1. Medications:
    • Diuretics:  Acetazolamide is one medication that helps lower intracranial pressure by reducing the production of cerebrospinal fluid.
    • Corticosteroids:  Corticosteroids are sometimes prescribed to treat IH symptoms and reduce inflammation.
  2. Surgical Interventions:
    • Optic Nerve Sheath Fenestration (ONSF):  A surgical technique that releases pressure from the optic nerve by creating a tiny window in the sheath around it.
    • Shunt Placement:  To control pressure, a shunt may be placed to transfer extra cerebrospinal fluid away from the brain.
  3. Lumbar Puncture (LP):
    • Spinal taps, or LPs, can be performed for therapeutic as well as diagnostic purposes.
    • During a low pressure (LP), a small amount of CSF fluid can be drained to temporarily decrease intracranial pressure.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications:
    • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight or reducing weight gradually can be beneficial, especially when obesity is a contributing factor.
    • Dietary Changes: Low-sodium diets may help control fluid retention and reduce IH symptoms.
  5. Regular Monitoring and Follow-up:
    • It is important to regularly monitor individuals with IH to assess the effectiveness of therapies and make necessary adjustments to interventions.
    • For ongoing management, scheduled appointments with medical professionals are essential.
  6. Stress Management:
    • The symptoms of IH may exacerbate with chronic stress. It might be helpful to use stress-reduction methods like yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.
  7. Physical Activity:
    • Regular, moderate exercise may help reduce the symptoms of IH and improve overall health.
    • Exercise should be tailored for each person according to their ability and after consulting with medical professionals.
  8. Avoiding Triggers:
    • Exacerbation of symptoms can be avoided by recognizing and avoiding potential triggers, such as certain medication or lifestyle factors.
  9. Alternative Therapies:
    • Acupuncture: Acupuncture can provide relief for some people, though outcomes vary.
    • Herbal Supplements: You can investigate several natural therapies with medical specialists’ advice.
  10. Treatment of Underlying Causes:
    • Comprehensive management must address any underlying medical issues that are causing or exacerbating IH.
    • This might include taking care of systemic illnesses, treating infections, or addressing structural irregularities.

Natural Remedies and Alternative Therapies

Dietary Changes

Reducing sodium consumption is one diet change that may help control IH symptoms. For individualized guidance, consult with a healthcare professional.

Stress Management

Techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help control stress, which could reduce the frequency and severity of headaches associated with IH.


Acupuncture is one alternative therapy that some people find relief, yet individual results may differ.

Managing Intracranial Hypertension daily

Monitoring Symptoms

Maintaining a regular record of symptoms might help with effective management by giving patients and healthcare professionals useful insights.

Regular Check-ups

Appointments for follow-up are essential for tracking development, changing therapies as necessary, and ensuring that people with IH receive continuous care.

Support and Resources for IH Patients

Online Communities

People with IH can access important resources, share experiences, and give guidance by joining online forums and support groups.

Support Groups

People with IH can find a sense of community through local and online support groups, which can help them manage the practical and emotional difficulties of living with the illness.

Educational Materials

Having access to reliable educational resources, like publications and websites with information, can provide people with IH and those who care for them with knowledge and comprehension.


Which symptoms of intracranial hypertension are frequently present?

Common symptoms include nausea, vision abnormalities, and throbbing headaches. Prompt identification is essential for efficient handling.

Can alterations in lifestyle reduce the symptoms of Intracranial Hypertension?

Certainly, leading a healthy lifestyle that includes frequent exercise and a balanced diet can help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Exist any possibilities for non-surgical treatment?

Alternative therapies, lifestyle changes, and medications provide non-surgical options for the management of intracranial hypertension.

Is intracranial hypertension a long-term health issue?

Chronic intracranial hypertension necessitates long-term care. Consistent care and an early diagnosis are essential.

How can stress contribute to the escalation of intracranial hypertension?

Exacerbation of symptoms may be exacerbated by stress. The ability to regulate stress is essential to general well-being.

Exist support groups specifically for people with intracranial hypertension?

Yes, a variety of support groups offer a forum for exchanging stories and coping mechanisms. Making connections with people going through similar things can be quite beneficial.

In conclusion, the goal of this blog post is to provide a thorough resource for anyone looking to learn more about intracranial hypertension. Empower yourself with the knowledge to manage your disease and enhance your quality of life, whether you’re navigating the symptoms, looking into causes, or thinking about treatment possibilities.

Other Articles :

Adrenal Causes of High Blood Pressure

The Common Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Practical Tips on How to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Leave a Comment