You’ve started experiencing frequent headaches, blurry vision – you’re just not feeling well. The doctor says it’s not a virus. What on earth could be causing all this? If you are one of the growing number of women using an increasingly popular hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control, that could be the culprit of your symptoms.
The Mirena IUD is used by roughly two million women in the US and over 15 million women around the world. While it is a highly effective form of birth control, serious side effects are associated with the use of this hormonal intrauterine device. One of the more damaging conditions linked to the use of Mirena is the development of pseudotumor cerebri (PTC).
So what is pseudotumor cerebri and what can you do if you suspect you have this condition? Read on for the answers.
1. WHAT IS PSEUDOTUMOR CEREBRI?
Pseudotumor cerebri–also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension–is caused when an excess of cerebrospinal fluid increases pressure inside the skull. Because the symptoms mimic those seen with brain tumors, it is also known as “false brain tumor”.
2. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PTC?
Symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri include:
- Severe headaches
- Vision loss
- Blurred or double vision
- Tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in the ears)
- Back or shoulder pain
- Swelling of the optic nerve
3. HOW IS PTC DIAGNOSED?
If you have a Mirena IUD and are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor for a physical exam to rule out other health problems, including an actual brain tumor. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following tests:
- An ophthalmologist will conduct an eye exam to look for distinctive swelling of the optic nerve, or papilledema, in the back of your eye.
- An MRI or CT scan can rule out other problems that cause similar symptoms.
- A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) measures the pressure inside your skull.
4. HOW IS PTC TREATED?
Pseudotumor cerebri can often be treated with medications, including glaucoma and migraine medications and diuretics.
More severe or advanced cases may require surgery.
- Spinal fluid shunt: a small tube is placed into the brain to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid.
- Optic nerve sheath fenestration: a surgeon cuts a window into the membrane surrounding the optic nerve, allowing excess cerebrospinal fluid to escape.
The attorneys at Davis and Crump are investigating potential lawsuits for women diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri after using the Mirena IUD. The diagnosis of a serious medical condition may have long term effects on you and your family. You may be entitled to financial compensation because of your circumstances.
Consulting with us is free, and there are no out-of-pocket costs for our services. We’d like to talk to you to explore your options. Call us at 800.277.0300 or fill out the online claim evaluation form by clicking the button above.