Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, membranes which surround the brain, can be rather serious medical condition and can cause numerous complications if left untreated. In majority of patients meningitis is caused by viruses. Still, inflammation of meninges can be also caused by bacteria or fungi.
Symptoms of Meningitis in Adults
In the beginning of meningitis the patient suffers from increased body temperature, headache, nausea and vomiting. Seizures occur later and they do not have to affect all the patients. Stiff neck is common symptoms in meningitis and is caused by irritation of meninges and consequent spasm of neck muscles. Photophobia or increased sensitivity to light is also reported by patients suffering from meningitis. Additional symptoms are loss of appetite, pain in legs and poor circulation of hands and feet which become rather cold and pale.
Less typical symptoms of meningitis in adults are localized weakness and localized strength and sensations, pain and swelling of joints and rash which may resemble bruises.
Prevention against Meningitis in Adults
The infective agents can be spread by coughing, sneezing and kissing. This is why each of these activities should be strictly avoided. Even sharing of eating utensils, toothbrushes or cigarettes can cause infection. Prevention can be additionally enhanced by regular washing of the hands and if one avoids touching his/her face or lips with filthy hands. Hands need to be washed prior meals and every time after one has used toilet. And finally, another way of prevention is avoiding any kind of contact with the person who is suffering from meningitis.
One can avoid infection if his/her immune system is functioning properly. Immune system can be successfully boosted by certain foods rich in specific vitamins and minerals and with certain vitamin supplements.
Another form of infection is vaccination. There are vaccines against certain infective agents which cause meningitis. After vaccination infection caused by the specific agent is impossible. However, another infective agent may cause meningitis. The vaccine can provide proper protection against meningitis caused by Hemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neiserria meningitidis.
Treatment for Meningitis in Adults
In case of viral meningitis treatment is not as aggressive as in bacterial meningitis. Patients suffering from viral meningitis usually stay at home and are administered certain medications such as acetaminophen.
Patients suffering from bacterial meningitis are commonly hospitalized. They are monitored for any sign of breathing difficulties or problems with heart. Patients are given fluids and antibiotics intravenously. Additional medications are given in case of seizures. Patients who cannot breath are intubated. And, urinary catheter is placed so that medical staff can monitor the function of kidneys.