Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) is a neurological syndrome characterized by elevated cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull. In the past, IIH was known as pseudotumor cerebri (PTC). Without treatment, IIH can cause chronic headaches, migraines, vision loss, and permanent blindness.
Need a Texas Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by birth control, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
What Causes IIH?
The term idiopathic means “unknown cause.” However, the disease is three times more likely to occur in women than men. Hormonal birth control and obesity are also risk-factors for the disease, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Levonorgestrel and IIH
In 1995, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study linking 56 cases of IIH with a birth control implant that contained levonorgestrel (progestin). This same hormone is used in Mirena, an intrauterine device (IUD). Bayer, the manufacturer of Mirena, is now facing a growing number of lawsuits from women who allege that they were never warned about the risk of IIH.
- Headache: Over 90% of people develop headaches — daily events that involve severe, pulsating pain, usually worst first thing in the morning and located at the back of the head. Nausea is also common.
- Visual changes: About two-thirds of people with IIH develop vision problems, including episodes of blurred vision that typically last 30 seconds. About one-third of patients report double-vision. Vision problems can occur very early in the disease or after several years.
- Hearing disorders: IIH commonly causes tinnitus, which may cause ringing or “whooshing” noises in the ears.
- Papilledema: Pressure inside the skull causes swelling (edema) of the optic disc at the back of the eye.
- Blindness: Over 90% of people with IIH have visual field loss in at least one eye, but 1/3 of cases are mild. Enlargement of the blind spot is common. The loss of vision is progressive and can lead to blindness in about 5% of cases.
Diagnostic imaging scans (such as a CT or MRI) cannot usually diagnose IIH. The only definitive way to diagnose IIH is with a spinal tap (lumbar puncture), in which a doctor inserts a needle between two vertebrae in the lower part of the spine and removes a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid. An eye exam can also look for signs of damage to the optic disc, but IIH cannot be diagnosed with an eye exam alone.
There are several treatment options for IIH, depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be curable with medication. The severity of headaches may also be reduced by removing cerebrospinal fluid using a lumbar puncture. However, in severe cases involving vision loss, doctors may recommend draining fluid from the skull through a surgical tube known as a shunt.
Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Lawsuits
The Clark Firm, LLP is investigating potential lawsuits involving women who used Mirena and were diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
Need an Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) Lawyer in Texas?
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