The state of fluid accumulation in the brain is called “watering in the brain” or “hydrocephalus.” Pressure increases as more fluid accumulate in the brain, which can cause brain damage.
This usually happens when fluid in the brain is not absorbed; the fluid gets stuck or starts to form in excessive amounts. Apart from this, due to head injury, brain hemorrhage, or infection, brain tissue gets damaged due to damaged brain tissue.
Symptoms include headache, blurred vision, difficulty walking, epileptic seizures, fever, irritability, and excessive sleepiness.
To test this condition, doctors may perform some types of imaging tests, including CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound scan. With the help of these imaging tests, very clear pictures of the brain are available so that the hydrocephalus can be tested well.
There are some reasons of water in mind, which is not possible to prevent. However, reasons such as head injury can be prevented, such as wearing helmets and seat belts.
Watering in the brain can be treated in many different ways. In most cases, it is treated by operation. During the operation, a device is placed in the brain, which is called Shunt.
If left untreated, this condition can be fatal for life. Children, who have a problem of watering the brain since birth, have difficulty in learning, memory problems, problems of seeing, and speaking.
What is hydrocephalus?
This is a brain condition in which cerebrospinal fluid gets trapped in the brain and cannot exit. The cerebrospinal fluid is a colorless liquid like water, which provides cushion to the spinal cord and brain. The pressure in the skull increases as the brain generates more fluid.
Types of Hydrocephalus
What are the types of hydrocephalus?
There are mainly three types:
When the problem of water in the brain occurs from birth, that condition is called Congenital Hydrocephalus. Its symptoms usually start from childhood.
The hydrocephalus that develops after birth is called acquired hydrocephalus. It can occur at any age, which is mainly due to head injury, stroke, tumor, meningitis or hemorrhage, etc.
The cause of this type of hydrocephalus is not known yet. This can happen even if there is no loss of any change in the reabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid. It usually occurs in older people.
What are the symptoms of hydrocephalus??
Symptoms of water in the brain can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Inability to keep the body stable (instability)
- Difficulty in focusing eyes
- Leg weakness
- Suddenly fall
- Drag feet
- frequent urination
- Bladder muscle problems
- Excessive sleep
- Impairment of body movements
- Impaired ability to think, understand and remember
- Have a strong urge to urinate
- Suddenly fall
- Get stuck suddenly while walking
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in infants and children:
- Abnormally large body size
- Eyes bent down
- Excessive sleep
- Become irritable
- Forehead bulge
- Bulging veins
- Skull fracture
- Having a headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Having visual problems
When should the doctor see??
Treatment of hydrocephalus is necessary as soon as possible so that the disease and its cause can be detected and treated correctly. According to the type of hydrocephalus in patients, its symptoms may also vary.
Some symptoms, such as severe headache, nausea, and vomiting, excessive sleepiness and confusion, etc., need to be examined as soon as possible.
If a person with hydrocephalus is experiencing these symptoms are becoming more severe, then in such a situation, a doctor should be seen as soon as possible.
Hydrocephalus Causes & Risk Factors
Why is hydrocephalus?
An imbalance of cerebrospinal fluid causes the disease. In this disease, the balance between the amount of cerebrospinal fluid produced and the amount absorbed in the bloodstream is disturbed.
A layer makes the cerebrospinal fluid of tissue inside the brain. It flows into space between the two channels, connecting them. Finally, this fluid reaches around the brain and spinal cord. The cerebrospinal fluid is mainly absorbed by the blood cells near the brain.
The amount of cerebrospinal fluid is usually significantly increased for the following reasons:
The cerebrospinal fluid begins to accumulate abnormally due to any obstruction in the normal flow of fluid.
Not absorbed properly:
It is a physical condition in which blood cells stop absorbing cerebrospinal fluid. This condition is often associated with swelling and redness etc. caused by some disease or injury etc. in the brain tissue.
This condition occurs in very few cases, in which the pace of formation is increased compared to when the cerebrospinal is absorbed.
In some cases, the hydrocephalus develops before the baby is born. This results in the following conditions:
- A type of congenital disability in which the spinal columns are not close to each other
- A variety of genetic abnormality
- Certain types of infections that occur during pregnancy, such as rubella
Some other complications, including complications such as premature birth, etc.:
- Brain hemorrhage
- Diseases like meningitis
- Spinal hemorrhage
When does the risk of hydrocephalus increase?
The risk of water filling the brain increases in the following situations:
- A severe head injury
- Premature birth
Prevention of Hydrocephalus
How to prevent brainwashing?
The chances of getting hydrocephalus can be reduced by taking some measures to avoid the conditions that cause this disease.
All the congenital disabilities and genetic abnormalities can be detected by examining the parents properly and tests like ultrasound, etc., which can cause hydrocephalus.
Protect your baby’s or baby’s head from injury
Use of safety equipment such as putting on helmets to prevent head injury while riding the bike. The use of seat belts while driving can also reduce the risk of head injury.
Young children should be safely seated on the car seat.
Taking proper treatment of any type of disease or infection etc. related to hydrocephalus also reduces the risk of getting this disorder.
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It also reduces the risk of hydrocephalus by taking vaccinations that protect against any infection or disease. Vaccination to prevent infection such as meningitis etc. reduces the risk of developing infections that damage the nervous system & increase the risk of developing hydrocephalus.
It is believed that taking folic acid in the first three months of pregnancy and before pregnancy also reduces the risk of hydrocephalus.
Diagnosis of Hydrocephalus
How is hydrocephalus tested?
The test of hydrocephalus can be done based on obtaining previous information related to the patient’s health, identifying the patient’s symptoms, and other medical examination results.
If you think that your child has hydrocephalus, the doctor will do a physical examination of your child and check for signs and symptoms.
In children, doctors mainly check for symptoms like sunken eyes, bulging forehead, and a head size larger than normal.
Doctors perform the test only by selecting the appropriate test according to the age, symptoms, and health condition of the patient. Tests chosen by your doctor may include:
These tests include MRI scans, CT scans, and ultrasound scans, etc. All these tests help to find out the increased size of the brain.
Hydrocephalus during pregnancy
Usually, ultrasound of the mother is done between 15 and 35 weeks of pregnancy, with the help of which the problem of hydrocephalus is detected in the unborn child.
Some other tests that are usually done like:?
- Eye test to check the vision and detect swelling behind the eyes, etc.
- Lumbar puncture test, this test is used to examine the cerebrospinal fluid and find its pressure.
- Brain scans with the help of radioisotopes
- Skull x-ray
How is hydrocephalus treated??
This condition can be severe if the water filling in the brain is left untreated. With the help of treatment, the brain damage that has already taken place before treatment can be started.
The main goal of this treatment is to prevent further brain damage. In this treatment, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is mainly normalized.
If hydrocephalus is also associated with infection, then antibiotics are given in this condition. If the hydrocephalus problem is not cured even after treating the disease, in this case, the patient may need to be operated.
Doctors often operate with the help of one of the following surgical procedures:
This is the most common type of treatment procedure for hydrocephalus, in which a device called Shunt is used.
A shunt is a flexible tube that is placed in the ventricular system of the brain, which converts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to other parts of the body.
By applying a shunt or tube to the skull, the cerebrospinal fluid is removed from the head and transported to a part that can absorb it. The Shunt has a valve that normalizes the flow of cerebrospinal fluid into the ventricles.
Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV)
This is an elective procedure performed at the site of shunt surgery, called ETV or endoscopic third ventriculostomy.
In this process, a small hole is made on the surface of the brain at the place of Shunt, with the help of which the cerebrospinal fluid is removed and sent to a place where it can be absorbed.
The ETV process does not suit everyone. But if the cerebrospinal fluid has accumulated due to some kind of blockage in the brain, this ETV process can be helpful. The flow of cerebrospinal fluid is made through a hole.
Other possible treatments?
Destroying (staining) or removing parts of the brain that makes up cerebrospinal fluid.
What are the problems with hydrocephalus??
If the pressure in the brain is increased due to the formation of water in the brain, then long-term neurological complications may develop, which need to be treated as soon as possible to avoid.
Hydrocephaluses can permanently damage the brain and can cause a variety of physical and mental problems. If left untreated, it can be harmful to life.
Problems with hydrocephalus are often associated with the following conditions:
- Hearing ability
- Ability to see
- Miss attention
- Physical coordination problems
- Learning difficulty
- Epileptic seizures
- Light sensitivity
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