Cerebral edema, aka brain swelling or wet brain, means your brain area is swollen with a collection of excess fluid, what’s referred to as edema. As the swelling builds up, it puts pressure on your brain because there’s very little room to expand around the skull bone’s snug fit.
Fluid accumulation in or around your brain is an extremely critical health situation since it can block blood vessels, thus interfering with the delivery oxygen. Oxygen is an ongoing requirement for normal brain function and damage or death can ensue without it. Swelling pressure can also hinder the routine draining of other fluids out of the brain, thus adding to the level of swelling.
There are various causes for which a wet brain can result, including:
- head injury
- brain tumor
- toxic agents
- high altitude
- brain abscess
- oxygen deprivation
- cerebral hemorrhage
- adverse reaction to drug
- diabetic ketoacidosis (children)
- encephalopathy ~ Reye’s syndrome
- viral, bacteria, parasite infection ~ encephalitis, meningitis, toxoplasmosis
Brain swelling is a natural response to injury, insult and foreign substances.
When the brain swells, symptoms typically emerge suddenly. Cerebral edema symptoms vary depending on the area of the brain affected by swelling pressure. As such, you may experience a combination of symptoms, commonly:
- walking difficulty
- nausea, vomiting
- speech problems
- neck pain, stiffness
- vision loss, changes
- apnea, hyperventilation, hypoventilation
It’s common for some effects to linger for a while after a brain swelling event.
Cerebral edema is an emergency health situation, so assistance must be sought immediately. Initial treatment involves relieving excessive pressure from swelling in an effort to restore any impeded blood flow. So, a brain shunt may be placed to help drain excess fluid. Oxygen therapy is often given to increase the availability of oxygen. And then find and treat the cause for your wet brain.