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Papilledema

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Updated December 01, 2008

Definition: Swelling of the optic nerve as it enters the back of the eye, caused by increased intracranial pressure. Papilledema can be caused by brain tumors and brain infections, such as a brain abscess, meningitis or encephalitis. Pressure increase resulting from bleeding or from very high blood pressure can also cause papilledema.

Symptoms related to papilledema include headache and nausea with vomiting. (Papilledema should be treated as an emergency. It is appropriate to have a brain scan within 24 hours so that a brain tumor can be diagnosed quickly if one exists.)

Alternate Spellings: Papilloedema

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