How do I know if my child has hydrocephalus?

The most obvious sign of hydrocephalus in infants is a rapid increase in head circumference or an unusually large head size. Other symptoms may include seizures, vomiting, sleepiness, irritability, or eyes that constantly gaze downward.

What are the key signs of hydrocephalus in a child?

What are the symptoms of hydrocephalus in a child?

  • A full or bulging soft spot on the top of your baby’s head (fontanel)
  • Increasing head size (circumference)
  • Seizures.
  • Bulging eyes and not being able to look up when facing forward.
  • Visible scalp veins.
  • Irritability.
  • High-pitched cry.
  • Poor feeding.

At what age is hydrocephalus diagnosed?

Hydrocephalus is typically detected through a prenatal ultrasound between 15 and 35 weeks gestation. Our specialists are able to confirm this diagnosis with a fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam, which provides more detailed images of the brain.

How do you rule out hydrocephalus?

CT scans and MRI scans are often used in combination to confirm a diagnosis of hydrocephalus present from birth (congenital) and hydrocephalus that develops later in children and adults (acquired). These scan the brain in detail.

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What is the signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus?

Physical signs and symptoms

  • Headache.
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Abnormal eye movements.
  • Abnormal enlargement of a toddler’s head.
  • Sleepiness or sluggishness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Unstable balance.
  • Poor coordination.

How do you test for hydrocephalus?

To diagnose hydrocephalus, a neurosurgeon or neurologist takes a thorough medical history and performs a neurological evaluation and physical exam. Doctors then perform an ultrasound, MRI scan, or CT scan to confirm enlargement of the ventricles and determine the cause of the hydrocephalus.

How does a child get hydrocephalus?

Cause of Hydrocephalus

Older children or adults with an abnormal growth in the head (tumor) or a head injury can develop hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus has two base causes: the bloodstream is not fully absorbing the fluid due to a damaged filter in the brain and / or the flow of fluid within the ventricles is blocked.

Can a baby with hydrocephalus walk?

Most children who have hydrocephalus make a successful recovery after surgery and go on to lead healthy lives. Many children with pediatric hydrocephalus have normal intelligence and physical development, but some may be slower to develop skills such as hand-eye coordination or learning to walk.

How long do babies born with hydrocephalus live?

What is the life expectancy of a child who has hydrocephalus? Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.

Can a child with hydrocephalus live a normal life?

There is no cure for hydrocephalus, but with timely diagnosis and treatment, children with hydrocephalus can lead normal lives. They will require close care from physicians, neurosurgeons and sometimes neurologists as well.

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How do you treat a baby with hydrocephalus?

7 Tips for Caring for a Child with Hydrocephalus

  1. Build a Support Network. …
  2. Learn How to Monitor a Shunt. …
  3. Do Not Let Them Play with Magnets. …
  4. Pay Close Attention to Their Development. …
  5. Be Aware That They May Need Special Education. …
  6. Recognize Emergencies. …
  7. Teach Your Child About Hydrocephalus.

What will happen if hydrocephalus is not treated?

Without treatment, hydrocephalus results in compromised mental functioning, visual disturbances, walking difficulty, incontinence, and reduced conscious state.

Does hydrocephalus go away on its own?

Hydrocephalus is a condition of the brain where there is a pressure-induced deterioration of brain functions. It does not go away on its own and needs special treatment. Hydrocephalus is due to the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the cavities deep within the brain. These cavities are called ventricles.

What foods help with hydrocephalus?

The importance of a balanced diet

  • five portions of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • carbohydrates from foods such as brown rice, potatoes, cereals and whole wheat pasta.
  • protein from foods such as oily fish, eggs and meat.

What is the most common cause of hydrocephalus?

It’s thought hydrocephalus present at birth (congenital hydrocephalus) may be the result of a brain defect restricting the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Hydrocephalus that develops in adults and children (acquired hydrocephalus) is often caused by an illness or injury that affects the brain.

Can hydrocephalus be treated?

The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a drainage system, called a shunt. It consists of a long, flexible tube with a valve that keeps fluid from the brain flowing in the right direction and at the proper rate. One end of the tubing is usually placed in one of the brain’s ventricles.

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