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What're the signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus?

The symptoms of hydrocephalus may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Irritability, fatigue, seizures, and personality changes such as an inability to concentrate or remember things may also develop. Drowsiness and double vision are common symptoms as hydrocephalus progresses. In an infant, the most obvious sign of hydrocephalus is an

abnormal enlargement of the baby's head. The soft spot (fontanel) may be tense and bulging. The scalp may appear thin and glistening, and the scalp veins may appear to have unnatural fullness (prominence), as well. When you feel your baby's head along the suture lines, you may find that the bones are separated. Symptoms to watch for are vomiting, sleepiness, irritability and downward deviation of the baby's eyes (the sunsetting sign). Toddlers whose sutures have not yet closed also show the signs of head enlargement. Older toddlers and children, once their sutures have closed, will show other symptoms of raised intracranial pressure (ICP) caused by their enlarged ventricles. Often these symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting and sometimes blurred or double vision. The child might have problems with balance, delayed development in such areas as walking or talking, or poor coordination. As with infants, a child may be more irritable or tired than normal. The child may show a change in personality or be unable to concentrate or remember things, and their school performance may decline. Older children may have difficulty waking up and staying awake. While at times the symptoms are very noticeable, other times they can be very subtle and progress so slowly that only in retrospect are they appreciated.

More information on hydrocephalus

What is hydrocephalus? - Hydrocephalus is the lack of absorption, blockage of flow, or overproduction of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that is found inside of the ventricles inside of the brain.
What causes hydrocephalus? - Hydrocephalus can be broadly classified as being caused by disturbance to normal production, flow or absorption of cerebrospinal fluid.
What're the symptoms of hydrocephalus? - The symptoms of hydrocephalus include irritability, fatigue, seizures, and personality changes, drowsiness, and double vision.
How is hydrocephalus diagnosed? - Hydrocephalus may be diagnosed before birth by prenatal ultrasound, a diagnostic imaging technique which uses high-frequency sound waves.
What's the treatment for hydrocephalus? - Treatment of hydrocephalus depends on its cause. Medications are used to slow the rate of cerebrospinal fluid production temporarily.
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