Causes of high fluid content in the skull-Hydrocephalus

 

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Hydrocephalus is one of the conditions associated with birth defects characterized with the high concentration or presence of fluid in the skull of the person leading to the inflammation of the brain.

The buildup of fluid in the brain causes damage which can eventually lead to physical, mental and developmental retardations. If this condition is left untreated early, it can result in serious complications. It happens mainly in children and aged people.

 

Causes

Complications during pregnancy and delivery
Genetic abnormality
Birth defects with open spinal column
Rubella infection during pregnancy
Excessive secretion of fluid by the brain
Obstruction in the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid
Reduced ability of the blood vessels to absorb the fluid
Inflammation of the brain and damages the brain tissue

 

 

Vulnerable group
Some people have increasing risk of having hydrocephalus if there is previous encounter with any of the following condition; head injuries, brain surgery, meningitis and bleeding from the brain’s blood vessels.

 

 

Symptoms

Common symptoms of this condition in infants are spontaneous increase in head circumference, soft spot on the skull surface, downward looking eyes, low muscular tone and strength, vomiting, prolong sleeping pattern as well as feeding difficulty.

In toddlers and older children, headaches, changes in personality and facial appearance, high-pitched cries, restricted growth, difficulty in eating pattern, excessive sleeping, muscle spasms, bigger head, frequent urination and irritability, seizures, vomiting and nausea as well loss of concentration are possible symptoms of excessive fluid buildups in the skull.

Common symptoms in young and middle-aged adults are lack of coordination, walking difficulty, bladder disorder, chronic headache, vision problems and loss of memory.

 

 

Diagnosis
The diagnosis can be done to confirm the suspicion of hydrocephalus with a physical examination by the doctor to check for sunken eyes, bulging fontanel and bigger head circumference.
This can be followed with ultrasound to have an in depth view of the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) scans are also useful in diagnosing the condition by viewing the signs of excess cerebrospinal fluid and revealing the largeness of the brain ventricles respectively.
Treatment and Prevention

Shunt insertion involves the drainage of the excess fluid in the brain. It requires proper monitoring as it is a permanent treatment option implanted in the skull.
Ventriculostomy is a process whereby a hole is drilled at the base of the ventricles allowing for the excretion of the fluid from the brain.

Registering for antenatal care in the course of the pregnancy is very important in minimizing the risk to having hydrocephalus.

It is also advisable to get necessary vaccines to avert infections and diseases linked to hydrocephalus.

Living a safe and healthy life can also help reduce the vulnerability to hydrocephalus. Avoid accident especially one that affects the head.

It is advisable to use of car seat belt while driving, young children should also use car seat belt to reduce the effect of accident on the head.



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