According to the Mayo Clinic, pseudotumor cerebri (SOO-doh-too-mur SER-uh-bry) occurs when the pressure inside your skull increases for no obvious reason, mimicking the symptoms of a brain tumor. This condition is most common in women ages 20 to 50 and can result in a variety of symptoms including:
- Sounds pulsating within the skull
- Ringing in the eyes
- Blurred vision
- Brief episodes of blindness
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Seeing flashes of light
- Neck and back pain
- Double vision
SSDI or SSI claimants with this condition should seek medical treatment to rule out other potential conditions. One of the main problems which should be monitored is changes in vision which can be detected with frequent eye examinations.
Risk factors associated with pseudotumor cerebri include obesity, which can increase the risk factor by as much as 20 times, especially in women under the age of 44. Medications can also increase the risk including growth hormones, oral contraceptives, Tetracycline and excess vitamin A. Additional health problems can also increase the risk including lupus, Lyme disease, mononucleosis and kidney disease. Treatments can include dieting, steroids, surgery, and shunting to remove the excess of fluid.
Winning SSDI or SSI benefits for pseudotumor cerebri
To win SSDI or SSI benefits the claimant’s condition will first be evaluated and determine if it meets or equals a listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments. Pseudotumor cerebri is not specifically identified in the SSA Listing of Impairments but claimants can have symptoms that would meet or exceed an existing listing.
For example, if you have severe vision loss it would be possible to meet a listing for vision loss which is evaluated under 2.00 Special Senses and Speech, Section 2.02 Loss of Visual Acuity, 2.03 Contraction of the visual fields in the better eye or 2.04 Loss of visual efficiency.
Claimants who are attempting to meet or exceed a listing should be seeing the appropriate medical specialist to get the appropriate vision tests. The SSA must find evidence within the claimant’s medical files to make a disability determination.
Winning SSDI or SSI benefits through a medical vocational allowance
Most claimants will not meet or equal a listing for pseudotumor cerebri and will instead have to prove through a medical vocational allowance that they do not have the residual capacity to work.
If you are attempting to win benefits for pseudotumor cerebri through a medical vocational allowance you may need to talk to a disability lawyer who can review your medical files and determine if you have enough medical evidence to prove your case.
The Social Security Administration will be looking for medical evidence to prove that you are no longer able to perform work activities. Failure to seek proper medical care or to follow the doctors prescribed treatment plan of your condition can limit your ability to be awarded Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
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