Spina bifida and hydrocephalus are two conditions that are often seen together, with potential effects on an individual's life expectancy. These conditions can range from mild to severe, so understanding their outlook and what to expect is important. This article will explore the life expectancy of those living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
What Causes Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus?
Spina bifida and hydrocephalus can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle. It is important to understand the potential causes of these conditions in order to take necessary steps to reduce risk. In some cases, spina bifida and hydrocephalus are present at birth, while in other cases they may develop over time due to specific exposures or events.
What Are the Symptoms of Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus?
The symptoms of spina bifida and hydrocephalus can vary greatly depending on the severity of the abnormality. For example, individuals with mild cases may not experience any symptoms at all, while more severe cases may cause physical and mental challenges. Common symptoms associated with spina bifida and hydrocephalus include: learning disabilities, urinary and bowel frequency/accidents, lower back pain, vision impairment or blindness, hearing loss, scoliosis (curvature of the spine), motor skill challenges or paralysis, fatigue or poor coordination.
What Treatment Is Available for People with Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus?
Treatment for spina bifida and hydrocephalus can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Generally, treatment may involve surgical intervention to reduce the effects of the condition, as well as physical, occupational, speech and/or language therapy to improve mobility, communication and daily functioning. In some cases medication may be prescribed if there is an infection or neurological impairment. Education about the facts concerning spina bifida and hydrocephalus can also be a form of treatment by helping families learn how to manage their child’s health.
How Long Do People with Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Usually Live?
Life expectancy for people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus can depend on a variety of factors such as the severity of the condition, early detection and treatment, family support and lifestyle factors. Generally, people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus have a longer life expectancy than in the past due to advances in medical care. However, most individuals still need to be monitored regularly by their healthcare provider throughout their life.