Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is fluid accumulation in the skull, causing the brain to swell. This condition causes damage to the brain, leading to developmental disorders and intellectual impairments. Symptoms in infants are:
• Bulging fontanel
• Rapid increase in head circumference
• Eyes that are fixed downwards
• Excessive sleepiness
• Low muscle tone and strength
Symptoms in toddlers and older children are crossed eyes, headaches, delayed growth, loss of bladder control and larger than normal head.
HOW IS HYDROCEPHALUS DIAGNOSED?
The general physician may conduct a physical examination and look for symptoms and signs. An ultrasound or MRI scan helps study the brain.
HOW IS HYDROCEPHALUS TREATED?
The goal of treatment is to reduce or prevent brain damage by improving the flow of CSF. Surgery may be done to remove a blockage, if possible. A flexible tube called a shunt may be placed in the brain to reroute the flow of CSF. Medicines may be suggested in certain cases. Visiting nurses, social services, support groups, and local agencies can provide emotional support and help with the care of a child with hydrocephalus who has serious brain damage.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hydrocephalus cannot be prevented but you can lower the risk for developing this fatal condition.