• The pressure inside the skull increases for no obvious reason
  • Symptoms mimic those of a brain tumor, but no tumor is present
  • The name means “false brain tumor”


  • Headache
  • Blurred or dimmed vision
  • Buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Nausea
  • Vision loss
  • Difficulty seeing to the side
  • Seeing light flashes (photopsia)
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain


  • Exact cause Is unknown
  • It may be associated with having too much CSF in the skull

Risk Factors

  • Obesity
  • Medications:
  • Birth control pills
  • Excessive amounts of vitamin A
  • Tetracycline
  • Steroids
  • Other health conditions:
  • Kidney disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Addison’s disease
  • Lyme disease

Diagnostic Tests

  • Eye Exam
  • Spinal Tap (Lumbar puncture)
  • Computerized tomography (CT) Scan
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • X-rays



  • Glaucoma drugs
  • Diuretics
  • Migraine medications

Surgical Procedures:

  • Optic nerve sheath fenestration
  • Spinal fluid shunt


  • Acetazolamide (Diamox)
  • Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
  • Naratriptan (Amerge)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)

Lifestyle Management

  • Lose excess body weight
  • Switch to a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • Avoid foods high in sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and sodium