It's not just the hands or feet that can experience swelling, it turns out the nerves around your eyeball can also be swollen. Papilledema is this swelling condition. However, why can people experience swelling in the nerves of the eye? Are there symptoms that indicate it? Will the swollen eye nerve cause blindness? Now, look at the reviews below about papilledema.
Papilledema is a serious condition
Papilledema is a medical condition in which the optic nerve swelling occurs in the optic disc area. An optic disc is an area where the optic nerve enters the back of the eyeball. The optic nerve through the optic disc area consists of a collection of nerve fibers that carry visual information connecting the brain to the retina of the eye.
When papilledema occurs, the optic disc area that contains these optic nerves is swollen. That's why papilledema is classified as a serious medical condition and requires medical attention.
What causes this swelling to occur?
This swelling arises because of an increase in pressure around the brain. When the pressure from around the brain increases, the optic disc area will be compressed so that this part swells. This pressure can occur due to an increase in cerebrospinal fluid or abbreviated CSF.
This cerebrospinal fluid basically surrounds the brain and spinal cord and functions to protect the brain and spinal cord from damage. However, an increase in CSF can fill the area around the optic disc, so that the optic nerves in this part are increasingly depressed and swollen.
Pressure can also arise due to brain swelling caused by:
- Head injury
- Does not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin
- Bleeding inside the brain
- Inflammation in the brain (encephalitis)
- High blood pressure
- There is pus due to infection in the brain (abscess)
- Brain tumors
- Sometimes high brain pressure is formed for no apparent reason, known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension. This condition is more common in people who are obese.
What are the symptoms of papilledema?
The initial symptoms of papilledema include:
- The view starts to blur
- Double vision
- Vision like seeing lightning
- Vision suddenly disappears in a few seconds
If brain pressure continues, then the changes above will be felt more and longer. In some cases, the symptoms even get worse and don't go away.
Other symptoms that can also occur are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- As if hearing another voice in the ear
How is the diagnosis done?
One way to diagnose papilledema is to use a special tool. The doctor will use a device called an ophthalmoscope to see the condition behind the eyeball. Other tests that are usually asked for are MRIs that can provide a more detailed picture, and more likely to show what causes high pressure to occur around the brain. MRI is also used to see the progress of papilledema treatment from time to time.
In addition, doctors can also recommend lumbar puncture first. Lumbar puncture is a procedure to withdraw CSF fluid to measure the amount of CSF around the brain and spinal cord.
Then what is the treatment for papilledema?
Handling will vary depending on the cause.
Basically, to reduce pressure due to fluid buildup, doctors usually perform lumbar puncture. Lumbar puncture is a medical procedure by inserting a needle into the spinal region to pull or suck up the accumulated cerebrospinal fluid, so the pressure decreases and the swelling decreases. Doctors also usually prescribe acetazolamide (Diamox) to keep your nervous system pressure at a normal level.
Other drugs that will be prescribed in this case to relieve swelling are corticosteroids, such as prednisone (Deltasone), dexamethasone (Ozurdex), and hydrocortisone (Cortef). These drugs can be obtained as injections or taken by mouth.
If high blood pressure is what causes papilledema, your doctor will provide treatment to maintain your blood pressure. Treatment that is usually given is like:
- Diuretics: bumetanide (Bumex) and chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- Beta blockers: atenolol (Tenormin and esmilol (Brevibloc)
- ACE inhibitors: captropil and moexipril
If the condition of papilledema is due to a brain tumor, the doctor will recommend taking a dangerous part of the tumor taking operation. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy is also given to make tumor size smaller and reduce the swelling that occurs.
If papiledema occurs because of an infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Treatment of infection varies depending on the type of bacteria that causes the infection. If there is an abscess, the doctor will do a combination of treatment, namely with antibiotics and making drainage to drain fluid from the brain.
If papilledema results from a severe head injury, the doctor will try to reduce the pressure and swelling by draining the CSF from the head and releasing a small piece of the skull to remove the pressure.
Can papilledema cause complications?
Reporting from the Healthline page, there are some complications that can occur in papilledema. Among them are:
- Can cause blindness if an increase in pressure occurs for a long time without treatment
- Brain damage
- Continuous headache
Therefore, if you feel the symptoms as described above, see your doctor immediately. Don't underestimate this condition because its complications are serious.
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