Most Chiari malformation symptoms are a result of the pressure on the brain stem caused by the malformation. The most common symptom experienced is headache, which is usually found in the backof the neck and head. These headaches are often worsened by coughing or sneezing. In infants and small children, these headaches may be accompanied by irritability or crying.
Symptoms of all types of Chiari malformation can include:
Chiari patients under the age of 3 most often have a problem controlling the area of the throat at the back of the mouth. This is called the oropharyngeal area. Problems in this area can make it hard to swallow and speak. These problems can lead to delayed speech development, excessive drooling and gagging. A few common problems in patients over the age of 3 are curved spine, headache and neck pain. Poor body movement control and a strange sense of feeling also are possible.
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