Understand the Symptoms and Signs of Meningitis
Inflammation of the membrane or any other organs can be quite painful and dangerous for the human health. However, when the inflamed area is the protective membrane covering the brain and spinal cord, the pain and danger can become quite severe.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
Meningitis can appear different in adults and new born babies, but it deserves the same level of care, treatment and urgency.[expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
More than often, meningitis can go away by itself in a few weeks. However, some severe cases require emergency antibiotic treatment. Here are a few signs and symptoms to identify whether or not you are suffering from meningitis:
- Sudden high fever
- Stiff neck
- A Headache with nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Sleepiness or trouble waking up
- Sensitivity to light
- No appetite/thirst
- Skin rash
- Muscle pain
- Stomach cramps
- Fever with cold hands and feet
If you have a new born baby or a child younger than 2 years of age, you might have to look for a different set of symptoms. Here are some signs of meningitis in children:
- High fever
- Constant crying
- Excessive sleepiness or irritability
- Inactivity or sluggishness
- Poor feeding
- A bulge in the soft spot on top of a baby’s head (fontanel)
If you have a nearby urgent care clinic, you can just walk in, consult a physician and get checked for meningitis.
What Are the Different Types of Meningitis?
Meningitis is most commonly caused by viral infections. However, there are several different types of meningitis.
Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and infect the brain and spinal cord. This can be caused by an infection in the ear or sinuses, a broken skull, or, very rarely, some surgeries. There are four main types of bacterial meningitis:
- Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumococcus)
- Neisseria meningitides (meningococcus)
- Haemophilus influenza (haemophilus)
- Listeria monocytogenes (listeria)
Caused by a group of viruses known as enteroviruses, viral meningitis can cure on its own in a few weeks. It happens in late summer and early fall and usually very mild. Walk into any urgent care clinic, and find out more about the different types of meningitis.
While this is very rare, it can still happen. It can mimic acute bacterial meningitis, but it is never contagious, and can never transfer from one person to another. It mostly affects people with AIDS and other immune deficiencies. If not treated in time, it can cause life-threatening consequences.
Miscellaneous Causes of Meningitis:
Mild meningitis can also develop from noninfectious reasons include chemical reactions, medication sensitivities, some cancers, and inflammatory illnesses like sarcoidosis.
What Are the Long-term Consequences?
If not treated in time, meningitis can cause the following long-lasting consequences:
- Hearing loss
- Memory difficulty
- Learning disabilities
- Brain damage
- Gait problems
- Kidney failure
- Neurological Damage
How to Prevent It?
If you want to prevent meningitis from ever making its way into your family, you should opt for the following precautions:
- Wash your hands.
- Practice good hygiene
- Stay healthy.
- Cover your mouth
- Take Precautions with your diet if you are pregnant.