symptoms of hydrocephalus

The symptoms of hydrocephalus vary depending on the age of the individual.

An infant with hydrocephalus will likely have an abnormally large or misshapen head. There may also be bulging at the soft spot on the back of the head (called the fontanel). The scalp may appear thin and glistening, and the scalp veins may be especially easy to see.

Specific symptoms to watch for in infants with hydrocephalus include:

  • Vomiting
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Downward turn of the eyes (called the sunsetting sign)

Before the bones of the head close permanently, toddlers with hydrocephalus may also have an enlarged head. Once the bones close, older toddlers and children will experience other signs of increasing skull pressure.These include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble balancing
  • Delayed development (such as walking or talking)
  • Poor coordination

Children with hydrocephalus may be irritable or tired. They may experience a change in personality, or find it difficult to concentrate, remember things, and perform well at school. Older children may also have trouble waking up or staying awake.


DSUS/COD/1214/0209 - 01/2015


Before the group I had never met anyone who had hydrocephalus or a child with it, so I didn't know m

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Did You Know?

Hydrocephalus is a combination of the Greek word “hydro” which means water and “cephalus” which means head.