Pseudotumor Cerebri is a condition in which the fluid that protects our brain and spinal cord fails to get absorbed. It starts accumulating inside the skull resulting in severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even loss of vision.
Pseudotumor Cerebri, as the name suggests, is a disorder in which the symptoms are the same as that of tumor patients. In Pseudotumor, the pressure inside the patient starts to increase, which can eventually result in many serious impairments.
Another name for Pseudotumor is idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Though the symptoms of Pseudotumor are familiar to the symptoms of a tumor, the condition is not the same. Pseudotumor is treatable, but it has a tendency to recur.
What Causes Pseudotumor?
To date, the exact reason for the formation of Pseudotumor is unknown. One theory suggests that Pseudotumor is caused by an excess of fluid around the brain and spinal cord. When this pressure builds, it eventually results in the symptoms of Pseudotumor.
The fluid surrounding our brain and spinal cord is known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This CSF normally provides the brain and spinal cord with essential nutrients. It also removes toxins and impurities. Our cerebrospinal fluid also serves as a cushion for the spinal cord and brain.
After a complete circulation, this fluid is typically absorbed by the body through the blood vessels. However, when too much fluid is produced, it accumulates around the brain. Since it is an enclosed space, there is no outflow, which eventually increases pressure around the brain.
There is no specific age or gender for the formation of Pseudotumor. It can affect men, women, children, older adults—anyone. Obese women of childbearing age are more prone to this disorder.
Is Pseudotumor Cerebri a Disability?
Pseudotumor Cerebri is considered a disability when it makes people unfit to perform any job. As the spaces around the brain start filling with fluid, the pressure inside the skull starts to increase. This gradually results in severe headaches, a swollen skulls, and pressure on the optic nerve. Prolonged symptoms can leave a person disabled. Depending on the symptoms you suffer, you can apply for SSI or SSD benefits. An attorney can explain the qualifying criteria in detail.
Overall, PTC can cause disability in many people. Vision loss is one of its main disabling impacts.
Vision loss happens for one primary reason. The optic nerve, our primary source of vision, connects our brains with our eyes. Any pressure on this nerve will result in blurred vision and even grey-outs. When left untreated, sufferers may experience progressive loss of vision.
A number of conditions may contribute to PTC.
In fact, there are numerous risk factors associated with Pseudotumor. For example, one of the most common risk factors of Pseudotumor is obesity. It is more common in women than men. There are even many medications, such as certain tetracycline antibiotics, that can cause Pseudotumor.
Medicines that are used for treating acne, primarily those derived from Vitamin A, can also cause Pseudotumor. There are other medications as well which may cause Pseudotumor, but their impacts are not well-established.
A specialist will analyze Pseudotumor Cerebri based on symptoms and various assessment and analytic tests. Patients with Pseudotumor Cerebri typically present with an expanding optic nerve. This symptom can be easily detected with an ophthalmoscope.
Occasionally, poor dissemination or seeping in the retina is also prominent. Assessments of the visual fields (utilizing mechanized tests) may also show a vulnerability in the eyes.
Some people will also experience a loss of peripheral vision. However, this is not always the case. Unless in more serious condition, the eyes may appear to behave relatively normally.
The symptoms of PTC are numerous. It is important that anyone experiencing these symptoms get in contact with a doctor as soon as possible.
- Severe to moderate headaches, right behind the eyes and worsening with movement of the eyes
- Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting
- Tinnitus, which is a condition where a patient experiences ringing of the ears synced with heartbeats
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Sudden flashing
- Sudden total blindness that lasts for a few moments and affects both or one eye(s).
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Stiffness of the neck
- Sudden neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Anxiety and depression
Tests Required for Pseudotumor Cerebri Treatment
MRI- To determine if a patient has Pseudotumor Cerebri, a specialist should arrange extra tests. The first test is an MRI. An MRI utilizes a vast magnet to take an image of the brain. This does not use X-ray radiation.
The MRI will be able to detect any abnormalities in the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the cause of increased pressure in the skull. A specialist can also check for blood clusters in significant veins of the cerebrum.
Skull imaging – A computed tomography (CT) scan might also be requested to rule out pseudotumor cerebri. This procedure may uncover abnormal liquid in your brain’s ventricles.
Changes in your pituitary gland may also indicate pseudotumor cerebri. Both fluid in the ventricles and pituitary gland problems can cause increased pressure in your skull. The presence of such abnormalities may indicate a high spinal fluid weight.
Retina tests- Because raised intracranial pressure worsens vision, a comprehensive eye exam is critical. A specialist can first perform a test of your visual fields. More intensive procedures may uncover the growth of the optic nerve at the rear of your eyes. This anomaly is known as papilledema.
Intracranial weight tests- Imaging tests are, for the most part, performed to rule out tumors or different irregular symptoms. When the outcomes affirm that you don’t have a tumor in your brain, your specialist will survey cerebrospinal liquid weight. A spinal tap may also be performed to drain fluid.
This is also called a lumbar cut. This test is performed by embedding a little needle into the lower back to release cerebrospinal liquid. A sample of the liquid is collected to check if there is any disease or aggravation. In patients with Pseudotumor Cerebri, the fluid weight is increased; however, the cerebrospinal liquid itself is typical.
Liquid seepage may provide prompt alleviation for some patients. However, this alleviation from cerebral pain and discomfort is only temporary. It is also important to remember that vision issues, and increased pressure, are not definitive proof of pseudotumor cerebri.
How Can I Get Disability For Pseudotumor Cerebri?
According to federal laws, people who have any kind of disability and are unable to work, may be able to get benefits. There are various programs available that help patients who qualify with different types of disability.
To acquire Social Security Disability Pseudotumor Cerebri benefits, an applicant must meet federal disability criteria. The Social Security Administration (SSA) ‘blue book’ has all the details about these eligibility criteria.
In order to get benefits for Pseudotumor Cerebri Disability, you must prove the severity of the condition. You may be able to get benefits for Pseudotumor Cerebri if your vision loss is equal to or more than 20/200. You can qualify under the blue book Section 2.02 – Loss of Visual Acuity or Section 2.04- Loss of Visual Efficiency.
Even if you don’t meet the criteria of the blue book, you can still claim disability benefits. You can do this through what is called a “medical-vocational allowance.” To get Pseudotumor Cerebri Disability Benefits, you must prove the severity and duration of symptoms, treatments, and other issues.
The SSA will evaluate your transferrable skills, work experience, age, and educational background. If the SSA finds that you cannot return to your previous job or other work, it may approve you for benefits.
With a medical-vocational allowance, your residual functional capacity (RFC) is also critical. This calculation is used to apply for the Disability Benefits Pseudotumor Cerebri patients need. Your RFC shows your restrictions and limitations due to the condition.
Contact Experienced Disability Attorneys to Get Your Disability Benefits With Ease
You should always consult with your primary care physician and other doctors. Specialists can help you determine if you are suffering from Pseudotumor Cerebri. In many cases, a specialist can also detect underlying conditions. You may also be able to get similar conditions ruled out.
If you have any questions about pursuing disability benefits, do not delay. Don’t wait for your condition to get worse. An experienced Social Security Attorney can help you get disability benefits for Pseudotumor Cerebri. At Chermol & Fishman, LLC, our attorneys can assist you from the initial application stage to any representation required in court. Consult with our experts today.