Symptoms

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IMPORTANT: Symptom lists online have frequently been based on patient-reported symptoms. These are frequently NOT updated when we learn about people having an additional diagnosis (like syringomyelia) they didn't know at the time of reporting symptoms. So some symptoms that are considered "chiari" were actually caused by other conditions.

Not everyone will have symptoms and some will only have a few. For symptomatic Chiari, this is called Chiari Syndrome. Symptomatic Chiari is more common in adults than children with 60% of patients with Chiari and Syringomyelia having symptoms and 25% of patients with isolated Chiari (no Syringomyelia). 


This list should NOT be taken as a definitive list and will be updated as more clarity comes in research.  

  What Causes these symptoms? 
There is not always an established reason why these occur so these are potential causes doctors have considered contribute to symptoms. 
- Compression of the cerebellum
- Compression of the brainstem
- Disruption to Cerebrospinal Fluid flow
- Stretching of the brain. 
- Elevated Cerebrospinal Fluid (Intracranial Hypertension or Hydrocephalus)
- Compression of the cranial nerves 


  Chiari Symptoms
- Severe Occipital-suboccipital Headache (brought on or worsened from straining)

Symptoms associated with Brainstem compression
- Nystagmus 
- Central Sleep Apnoea
 
-
Tachycardia 
 
- Severe swallowing issues 
-
Severe nausea/vomiting

- Issues with gag reflex

Symptoms associated with cerebellar compression
- Balance Issues
- Problems with fine motor control
- Ataxia
(difficulty walking)
 
 Symptoms associated with cervical cord compression
- Muscle Weakness/hypotrophy or numbness in arms/hands (may also be due to syringomyelia)
- Sensory and motor deficits 

 
Otoneurological Symptoms
- Dizziness
- Disequilibrium 

- Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
 
 
General Symptoms
- Insomnia/Sleeping Issues
- Fatigue
- Hoarse Voice
- Facial Numbness
- Visual disturbances (blurred, double vision, photophobia)

- Cognitive Issues 
- Neck Pain
- Syncope/Black-outs 
- Scoliosis


  Symptoms that may be from related conditions. 
  - Leg weakness (maybe more related to Syringomyelia and/or Tethered Cord)
  - Loss sensitivity to hot/cold (likely Syringomyelia)
  - Bowel or Bladder Issues (likely Syringomyelia or Tethered Cord)
  - Muscle weakness and/or spasticity (Syringomyelia)

  References:
  - https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/patient-caregiver-education/fact-sheets/chiari-malformation-fact-sheet
  - https://www.conquerchiari.org/documents/presentations/SYMPTOMS%20Presentation.pdf
  - https://www.mayfieldchiaricenter.com/
 

We are not a medical site, we do our best to give the most up to date information but the information provided should NOT be used in lieu of professional medical advice.