Chiari malformation is a congenital defect in the back of the head, where the brain connects to the spinal cord. With this condition, the lower part of the skull can be too small to hold the lower part of the brain, resulting in compression that hinders the flow of spinal fluid and the cerebellum tonsils protruding into the spinal column.
Symptoms: Even though Chiari malformation is present at birth, symptoms often do not surface until a patient is into their 20s or 30s. There are many different possible symptoms, such as double vision, blind spots, ringing in ears, neck pain that radiates across the shoulders, and a headache that begins in the back of the head and radiates behind the eyes. It is also possible to experience dizziness, chronic nausea, impaired balance, poor memory, and difficulty swallowing.
Treatments: Some symptoms of Chiari malformation can be managed with medications. In some cases, surgery is performed in order to make room for the brain and relieve compression.