People of all ages can have hydrocephalus. In children, it is common, especially during birth, but everyone can have the condition following head injury. Most people with hydrocephalus present with an extremely larger head than normal. And if you note any symptoms of hydrocephalus, you should seek immediate medical attention before developing further complications like memory loss. Therefore, if you have started noting the symptoms of hydrocephalus and you seek a diagnosis and treatment, Neurosurgeon Flowood and other specialists provide a solution to your problem. They are qualified and experienced in managing and treating hydrocephalus and preventing complications. Below is all you need to know concerning hydrocephalus.
What is hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus refers to the build-up of excess fluid, especially the cerebral spinal fluid in the brain. Normally, cerebral spinal fluid usually flows between your brain and spinal cord. When there is any block in its flow, it accumulates in your brain, causing pressure on the skull. Several things can cause an increase in the cerebral spinal fluid levels, including overproduction of the CSF, blockage in the flow, and reduced absorption of CSF by your blood vessels. Excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid causes tissue damage and brain swelling. In such a case, immediate treatment is needed to prevent developmental disabilities and mental problems. And if hydrocephalus is left untreated may result in serious complications because it damages the brainstem that regulates your breathing and heartbeat.
What are the symptoms of hydrocephalus?
Generally, the symptoms of hydrocephalus are different because they vary with age.
Children with hydrocephalus usually have an enlarged head, or you might see the head become bigger and bigger with time. Other children also present with bulging fontanels.
· Children and toddlers
They may present with an unusually larger head than normal. Additional signs include lethargy, vomiting, and sleepiness.
· Adults over 60 years
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in adults include memory loss, poor balance, double vision, frequent urination, difficulty walking, headaches, or loss of reasoning skills.
Mostly, hydrocephalus appears like an alarming prospect. Therefore, your health care provider is focused on offering life-saving treatments to prevent complications.
How is hydrocephalus diagnosed and treated?
Some of the diagnostics and treatments available include:
· Lumbar puncture
A lumbar puncture procedure involves draining cerebrospinal fluid from the base of your spinal cord. Draining CSF helps you walk better and improve your mental function. Therefore, if the method is effective, your care provider may place a shunt to help drain excess CSF.
· Lumbar infusion test
It involves inserting a needle into your spine to help measure the pressure of your CSF. Later a shunt can be put into place to relieve pressure if it is high.
During this procedure, your care provider makes a hole in one of your ventricles. Ventricles are responsible for the production and storage of CSF. Ventriculostomy guides your CSF down to the base of the brain for reabsorption.
Hydrocephalus is one condition that can result in complications like memory loss if not treated early. Therefore, if you have started experiencing the symptoms of hydrocephalus and are seeking treatment, you can get started by calling or booking your appointment at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic today.