Obstruction and decreased absorption of cerebrospinal fluid can cause excess fluid around the brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus, reports Mayo Clinic. Less frequently, tissues located in the ventricles of the brain cause excessive production of the fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid aids in protecting the brain against injury, keeping pressure within the brain normal, removing wastes from the brain and keeping the brain suspended within it.
Signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus in infants include an abnormally large head, seizures, sunsetting of the eyes, vomiting and drowsiness, reports Mayo Clinic. Other children and adults may experience concentration problems, poor coordination, headaches, vision problems and difficulty staying awake. People who experience seizures, problems sucking or feeding, and sudden, persistent vomiting require immediate medical attention.
A physical examination, a neurological examination and blood imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound imaging, can help diagnose the condition, explains Mayo Clinic. Shunt insertion, which involves inserting a long tube with valves into the brain to improve drainage, and endoscopic third ventriculostomy aid in counteracting the problem. Side effects of the surgical procedures include irritability, infection, bleeding and previous hydrocephalus symptoms. Wearing appropriate safety gear when doing certain activities, preventing and treating hydrocephalus-related diseases, and undergoing frequent prenatal care may help prevent the problem.