Hydrocephalus is defined as the accumulation of fluid inside the skull, which triggers a swelling of the brain. Normally, this disease makes its appearance due to problems with the cerebrospinal, which is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
A pathology that is important to treat as soon as possible for what from we are going to tell you the symptoms and treatment of hydrocephalus so that you know how to detect it in time and go to the doctor quickly.
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in the baby
In the baby it is easy to identify hydrocephalus because one of the main symptoms at this stage of life is the size of the head, which usually has larger dimensions than usual. The baby has already been born with a large head or, on the contrary, notice that it will grow quickly. You also have these other symptoms of hydrocephalus in infants:
- Bulge at its top
- Is very irritable
- Keeps your eyes fixed downwards
- Lack of muscle tone
- Sensitivity to touch
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in children
In children, hydrocephalus is also quickly recognized by the size of the head. But, in addition, you will notice that it has other symptoms that may indicate hydrocephalus in children, such as the following:
- Coordination problems
- Is delayed in learning to walk and talk
- Performs those functions with difficulty for their age
- Blurred or double vision
- Trouble paying attention.
In addition, all this leads to the child having a lower academic performance in school.
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in young people
In this age group, one of the most unmistakable signs of hydrocephalus is headache, but other symptoms also appear to pay attention to:
- Impaired vision
- Difficulty thinking
- You have little memory
- Difficulty being awake
- Problems coordinating movements and even balance
- Having a lot of desire to urinate and very often, not being able to control the bladder well
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in adults and older people
Among the most obvious symptoms of hydrocephalus in these people is memory loss and difficulty thinking and reasoning. It is also common for the following symptoms to occur:
- Lack of coordination.
- Loss of balance, which leads to the person moving more slowly. In fact, you even get to have difficulty walking.
- Feeling like urinating frequently and not being able to control your bladder. This symptom is common in older people, so it will be decisive that you pay attention to all the symptoms.
Causes of hydrocephalus
This problem can occur for a variety of reasons. The main causes of hydrocephalus, both in infants, children, young people and in adults and the elderly, are the following:
- Blocking the flow of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid).
- The brain produces too much CSF.
- CSF is not well absorbed into the blood.
- Due to genetic defects.
- Due to infections during pregnancy.
- Infections that affect the central nervous system, such as encephalitis and meningitis.
- Bleeding in the brain, especially during childbirth in case of babies.
- Internal bleeding due to injury or trauma.
- Tumors in the central nervous system, either in the brain or spinal cord.
Treatment for hydrocephalus
Regardless of your age, hydrocephalus can be treated. In general, we can talk about two types of treatments that, today, are the most common: shunts and ventriculostomy.
Treat hydrocephalus with shunts
The most common treatment of hydrocephalus consists of shunts. This, in reality, is nothing more than implanting a drainage system, also known as a shunt, which is usually like a kind of silicone or plastic tube to redirect fluid from the brain to another part of the body. The shunt, which is placed with surgery, is placed under the skin. One side of the tube is in the area where the excess fluid is located, while the other is inserted into a part where the body can absorb it.
Treating hydrocephalus with ventriculostomy
The treatment from the ventriculostomy, on the other hand, consists of a surgical intervention in which the surgeon uses a video camera of small dimensions -it is like an endoscopy-, to see the area well and be able to make a hole in the lower part of one or more cerebral ventricles so that the fluid leaves out of the brain.
From we have explained the symptoms and treatment of hydrocephalus so that you can go to the doctor at the first sign or indication that you may suffer from this disease or someone close to you. The treatment should always be carried out in medical centers, always being the doctor who chooses the treatment that best suits each patient.