Chiari malformation is an abnormal condition in which the brain tissue stretches into the spinal canal. Among several types, type I is the most common that may not cause obvious symptoms. So, what should be done for Chiari malformation type 1 treatment? Iris Cancer Partnership is here to help you cast light on the condition.
What are the symptoms of Chiari type 1 malformation?
Normally, patients with Chiari malformation have to suffer 3 stages with the symptoms getting worse over time.
People suffering Chiari malformation type I can experience signs of the condition during their late childhood or adulthood. Some notable symptoms could be mild to severe headaches after sudden coughing or sneezing, issues with balance, neck pain, dizziness, some speech problems, and poor hand coordination,…
Chiari malformation type 2 comes with more distressing symptoms such as changes in breathing pattern, swallowing problems, quick downward eye movements, weakness in arms, and more. Finally, type 3 is the most severe stage of the condition. This is when a portion of the brainstem stretches through an abnormal opening in the back of the skull. There’s a higher mortality rate and affected people will suffer from life-threatening neurological problems.
Chiari malformation life expectancy depends on the type. Patients with this mildest form can have a normal life expectancy and good outcomes with proper Chiari malformation type 1 treatment. The longevity of patients decreases as the symptoms become more severe.
As life with Chiari malformation is no feat easy, it’s vital to raise awareness on the condition and show support to patients. You can use meaningful Chiari malformation quotes as slogans for your walking events, or even spread faith and strength to them with awareness shirts like this:
How is a patient with Chiari malformation type 1 diagnosed?
Chiari malformation type 1 may be found when you have some imaging tests for other reasons. If you have the above obvious symptoms, the medical staff will ask you some questions about your health history. Then, he will give you a physical exam to better rule out the exact result.
In order to rule out a Chiari malformation type I, the healthcare provider might ask you to take one or more imaging tests as below:
- MRI: This test is the most commonly used method to diagnose Chiari malformations. It requires a computer system and large magnets to get detailed pictures of our inside bodies.
- CT scan: CT scan employs X-rays and a computer system to create detailed pictures of the inside organs in our body.
Chiari malformation type 1 treatment
Treatment for Chiari malformation type 1 will depend on your current symptoms, general health, ages, and some other factors. A neurosurgeon or a neurologist may take part in the treatment procedure. They are are experts in spinal cord problems and brain issues on the whole.
- With no symptoms: The medical staff will closely monitor your health condition. You might be asked to take frequent IRI tests and physical exams as well.
- With symptoms: Medicines to ease the pain. If the symptoms get worse, chances are you need to take Chiari malformation type 1 surgery. The goals of surgical treatment are to decompress the point in which the skull meets the spine and to restore the normal flow of the brain fluid.
- With few mild or no obvious symptoms, only a syrinx. In this case, the healthcare provider may suggest that you should have close monitoring with a special type of MRI. Basically, it is a cine phase-contrast test to look at the flow of spinal fluid. Also, it conducts a careful investigation at areas where the fluid is blocked. At the same time, you may need Chiari malformation non-surgical treatment to cope with the condition
- With signs of sleep apnea: A sleep study is essential in the case of sleep apnea. This approach can help your medical staff decide whether you need another cure or not.
Some healthcare givers recommend that there are certain things to avoid with Chiari malformation. Patients should avoid certain physical activities like wrestling, gymnastics, and contact sports. To help your child stay healthy, it’s advisable to follow your doctor’s instructions and pay a visit to a specialized facility.
Hope that with our comprehensive guide on Chiari malformation type 1 treatment, you can detect any abnormalities in a timely manner.