Men More Likely to Lose Sight Due to Brain Pressure

by Tanya Thomas on Oct 17 2008 10:34 AM

A new study has opined that vision loss as a result of a particular cause of intracranial hypertension (IIH), or increased pressure in the brain, is more common among men than women.

IIH is a neurological disorder involving too much cerebrospinal fluid pressure, resulting in severe headaches, swelling of the optic nerves, vision loss, double vision, and a whooshing noise in the ears.

To reach the conclusion, boffins reviewed the medical records of 721 people with this kind of intracranial hypertension.

Only nine percent of the group was male. Participants underwent eyesight exams and brain scans.

The study found that men with intracranial hypertension were two times more likely to experience severe vision problems in one or both eyes.

Severe vision loss was defined as meeting the criteria for legal blindness.

"While IIH occurs less often in men, their increased frequency of severe vision loss compared to women is a major concern," said lead study author Beau Bruce, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta and member of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Our findings suggest that men with this condition should have more careful monitoring of their eyesight and likely should be treated more aggressively when they do have evidence of vision loss," the expert added.

The study also found men were more likely to have diagnosed sleep apnea.

The study is published in the October 15, 2008, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.