What is Hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which fluid builds up in the cavities deep within the brain and causes it to swell. This excessive accumulation of fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts a lot of pressure on the brain resulting in its damage. This condition often leads to physical, developmental and intellectual impairments. Hydrocephalus mainly occurs in children and older adults over the age of 60 years.
What causes Hydrocephalus?
There are a number of factors that are responsible for Hydrocephalus, namely:
- Birth Defect In Which Spinal Column Doesn’t Close
- Genetic Abnormality
- Infections Occurring During Pregnancy (Rubella)
- Infections In Central Nervous System Of Babies (Meningitis)
- Bleeding In Brain Of Babies During Or After Delivery
- Head Trauma
- Central Nervous System Tumors
What are the symptoms of Hydrocephalus?
The symptoms of Hydrocephalus vary with age. The following signs and symptoms can be seen in:
- Infants: Unusually Large Head, Rapid Increase In Head Circumference, Bulging Soft Spot On Top Of Head, Vomiting, Sleepiness, Irritability, Seizures, Poor Feeding, Eyes Fixed Downwards, Low Muscle Tone & Strength
- Toddlers & Older Children: Short-High Pitched Cries, Change In Personality, Changes In Facial Structure, Headache, Muscle Spasm, Blurred Vision, Nausea/Vomiting, Poor Appetite, Seizures, Poor Coordination & Balance, Problems With Attention, Extreme Sleepiness, Loss Of Bladder Control, Delayed Growth
- Young And Middle-Aged Adults: Headache, Difficulty Waking Up, Loss Of Coordination And Balance, Frequent Urge To Urinate, Impaired Vision, Memory Loss
- Older Adults: Frequent Urge To Urinate, Memory Loss, Loss Of Thinking/Reasoning Skills, Difficulty Walking, Poor Coordination/Balance, Slow Movements
How can Hydrocephalus be treated?
Hydrocephalus must be treated immediately otherwise it can be fatal. The treatment for Hydrocephalus can’t reverse the brain damage but it can prevent further damage to the brain. Your doctor may recommend surgical options to treat Hydrocephalus, namely:
- Shunt Insertion