Meningitis in adults caused by bacteria is a severe condition that may lead to death. Here we will discuss meningitis in adults in detail. Meningitis in Adults Introduction
Meningitis represents inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, known as meninges. This inflammation is usually caused by viral or bacterial infection. Blood poisoning, also known as septicemia, is a common cause of meningitis in adults. Usually, people recover from meningitis, but sometimes the disease results in deafness, blindness and even death.
The greatest danger of meningitis lies in its rapid onset and non-specific symptoms because of which it is often mistaken for some other harmless condition. Causes of Meningitis
Meningitis can occur due to germs like bacteria, viruses and fungi, exposure to environmental toxins, reaction to medications or as a complication of brain surgery or head injury. The harmless bacteria that normally live in nose and throat can overcome the immune system and lead to meningitis. The disease can be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or kissing.
Bacterial meningitis is the most severe type of meningitis. It is commonly caused by Heamophilus influenzae type B, Neisseria meningitides or Streptococcus pneumoniae. It may develop as a result of septicemia when bacteria spread throughout the body via bloodstream.
Viral meningitis is a milder form of the disease that tends to resolve on its own. Viral meningitis is usually caused by Enterovirses, Coxsackies virus, Mumps virus or Adenovirus. Enteroviruses are common cause of spinal meningitis in adults. Symptoms of Meningitis in Adults
Both viruses and bacteria produce similar meningitis symptoms in adults. Classic symptoms of meningitis in adults are severe headaches, fever, pain in the neck, neck stiffness, vomiting, seizures and confusion. Pale, blotchy skin, joint swelling and pain, muscle aches and rash may be present too. Some patients also experience tingling throughout the body, drowsiness, dizziness and sensitivity to bright lights.
Meningitis due to septicemia is usually accompanied with fever, drowsiness, fast breathing, low blood pressure, confusion, cold hands and feet, trembling, skin rash and joint pain. Treatment for Meningitis in Adults
Bacteria meningitis requires immediate medical care. A person with bacterial meningitis has to be hospitalized promptly to receive treatment with antibiotics via a “drip” directly into a vein. Oxygen can be given to manage breathing problems, while dehydration and shock are controlled with intravenous fluids.
Treatment for viral meningitis is based on the symptoms. The sufferers are commonly treated with over-the-counter pain killers. Supportive care includes resting, drinking a lot of fluids and keeping cool.