What is Hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus and congenital hydrocephalus facts
Hydrocephalus is the buildup of too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Normally, this fluid cushions your brain. When you have too much, though, it puts harmful pressure on your brain.
There are two kinds of hydrocephalus. Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth. Causes include genetic problems and problems with how the fetus develops. An unusually large head is the main sign of congenital hydrocephalus. Acquired hydrocephalus can occur at any age. Causes can include head injuries, strokes, infections, tumors and bleeding in the brain. Symptoms of acquired hydrocephalus can include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Blurry vision
- Balance problems
- Bladder control problems
- Thinking and memory problems
Hydrocephalus can permanently damage the brain, causing problems with physical and mental development. If untreated, it is usually fatal. With treatment, many people lead normal lives with few limitations. Treatment usually involves surgery to insert a shunt. Medicine and rehabilitation therapy can also help.
SOURCE: NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke