Hydrocephalus is a medical condition that occurs when there is water buildup in the skull and causes the head to swell. Hydrocephalus means “water on the brain.” When there is water buildup in the brain, it will cause brain damage. The condition can lead to several impairments that include the physical and intellectual development of an individual. Immediate treatment can prevent serious if not life-threatening complications.
Young children and adults over 60 are more susceptible to getting hydrocephalus, but younger adults can get it too.
The water that builds up in the brain is the cerebrospinal fluid. Under normal condition, the CSF flows freely through your brain and the spinal cord. But the amount of CSF can increase if:
- There is a blockage that would prevent the CSF from flowing normally
- There is a decrease in the ability of blood vessels to absorb the CSF
- There is just too much production of CSF by the brain
When there is too much fluid in the brain, it will put the brain under too much pressure which causes brain swelling and eventually cause damage to the brain tissues.
Additional causes of hydrocephalus will differ to what age group is affected. In most hydrocephalus cases, that mostly affects babies in the womb, the condition can result from the spinal column not closing completely which is a birth defect, an abnormality in the gene, an infection that occurs during pregnancy. Infants, toddlers, and older children can also be affected due to the following reasons:
- Infections that can occur in the CNS, such as meningitis
- Brain hemorrhage that can occur during and after delivery especially in premature babies
- Head trauma
- Tumors in the central nervous system
Adults can also be affected with hydrocephalus. The CSF can build up but still at normal levels. It can still cause brain swelling and can lead to disorders in functioning. The cause of hydrocephalus in adults resulted usually from CSF not able to flow properly. But there are also cases that don’t have a definite cause.
If you think you are suffering from Hydrocephalus you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Hydrocephalus as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).