travis - intracranial hypertension (formerly called pseudotumor cerebri) is caused by increased CSF pressure. it can be idiopathic or secondary to trauma, disease, or medication. the main symptoms are headache, papilledema, visual disturbances, vision loss, pulsile tinnitus (hearing your pulse or 'whoosing' sounds in your ears), eye pain, and nausea. most people report that their symptoms are worse laying down (my headaches are worse laying down). it is diagnosed by exclusion of neurological damage or tumor (negative MRI, MRA, etc.). the majority of those with IH have papilledema (swelling of optic nerve) which can be seen during an eye exam. the diagnosis is made by measuring the opening pressure of CSF during a lumbar puncture (CSF fluid is also tested to rule out meningitis). normal opening pressure is 10-20, anything above that is considered IH. typical patients are female, overweight, and in their 30's although it has been diagnosed in children and men, it is much more rare. it can be a chronic condition but is managed with medication (generally diuertics such as Diamox and Lasix), serial lumbar punctures, and/or shunt surgery.
while you have some of the symptoms, you are not in the typical patient category and do not report visual problems. have the eye doctor or neurologist check for papilledema next time you go. maybe they need to do an MRA to look at the blood vessels in your head. best way to diagnose is opening pressure reading during an LP. good luck.