Type 1: Symptoms for Type I include headache, neck pain, double vision, balance problems, muscle weakness, sleep apnea, dizziness, hearing loss, trouble with swallowing and trouble with speaking.

Type II: Symptoms for Type II include trouble swallowing, weakness of vocal cords, headache and breathing irregularities. People with this type frequently have problems with the function of the nerves that leave the brain stem. The symptoms for Type II can be quite different from those for Type I.

Type III: Symptoms for Type III are headache, neck pain, stiffness, sleep apnea, balance problems and dizziness. With this type, portions of the cerebellum protrude out of an opening in the back of the skull area and it forms a pouch on the back of the neck.

Type IV: This is the most severe form of Chiari whereby the brain fails to form properly. Infants born with Type IV have poor prognosis and typically die soon after birth.

Below is a detailed list compiled by our group based on our experience with Chiari. If you have Chiari malformation, you may experience the same or a different set of symptoms.

  • Headache
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Poor position sense
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleep apnea
  • Impaired temperature sensation
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscular weakness
  • Eye pain or pressure
  • Tremors
  • Neck pain
  • Floaters/flashing lights/distortions
  • Palpitations
  • Spasticity
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor coordination
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Throat pain
  • Nausea
  • Double vision
  • Facial pain/numbness
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Fainting
  • Urinary/faecal incontinence
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Impotence
  • Pressure in ears
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Ringing in ears
  • Hypotension
  • Anxiety
  • Hearing loss
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Memory problems
  • Vertigo
  • Insensitivity to pain
  • Involuntary eye movement
  • Oscillating viewed images
  • Burning sensation
  • Sensitivity to sound


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