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A brain injury or another medical condition can cause growing pressure inside your skull. This dangerous condition is called increased intracranial pressure (ICP) and can lead to an ICP headache. The pressure also further injure your brain or spinal cord.
This kind of headache is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention. The sooner you get help, the more likely you are to recover.
Causes of this type of headache include:
These medical conditions can also cause ICP:
The following are the most common symptoms of an ICP. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of an ICP headache may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
To diagnose ICP headache, your doctor may do the following:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (used after the initial assessment)uses magnetic fields to detect subtle changes in brain tissue content and can show more detail than X-rays or CT
Increased intracranial pressure is an emergency. Treatment might include:
You may also be treated for the underlying cause of your intracranial pressure, which could be an infection, high blood pressure, tumor, or stroke.
ICP has serious complications, such as:
You can’t prevent an intracranial pressure headache, but you can reduce your risk of certain underlying conditions that may lead to an ICP headache such as high blood pressure, stroke or infection. If you experience any of the symptoms, you need to get medical attention immediately.
Call your doctor or 911 if you have any of the symptoms listed:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.