Headache due to intracranial hypertension

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What is intracranial hypertension?

Intracranial hypertension (IH) is the medical name for a build-up of pressure around the brain.  It can come on suddenly for example, as the result of a severe head injury, stroke, or brain abscess.

  • This is known as acute IH. It can also be a persistent, long-lasting problem known as chronic IH. This is rare and sometimes it is not clear why it happens.  

Sypmtoms of intracranial hypertension

One of the most common symptoms of intracranial hypertension is headache. The cause of intracranial hypertension is unknown.  The intensity of the headache is severe and is described from the patient as the worst headache ever. The pain is not affected by any conventional pain medication.  

This type of headache is frequently accompanied by pulse synchronous tinnitus (a whooshing noise in one or both ears that is synchronized with one’s pulse).

Other symptoms may occur such as:

  • Grey spots in one or both eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision

The pain may be experienced behind the eyes, which may be made worse by eye movement, while others might find the headache occurs at the back of the head or begins on one side.

  • A single episode of the headache may last hours, days, or even weeks. Sometimes the headache can be intermittent or during specific periods such as menstruations.  


Due to the fact that this is a type of headache caused by a specific condition, the diagnosis is crucial to determine the effective treatment.

In all these cases, it is indicated a consult with a doctor to diagnose the Intracranial Hypertension. By treating the Intracranial Hypertension, the headache may be vanished.  

Consult your doctor if:

  • You usually have two or more headaches a week
  • You need more than the recommended dose to relief your headaches
  • You take a painkiller mare than twice a week
  • Your headache intensity, duration, pattern changes

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 8 Jan 2018
Medical Author: Dr. med. Diana Hysi