Know the Common Causes and Symptoms of Meningitis
The listed symptoms for meningitis are among those that are often difficult to diagnose. This results in a much critical condition for a patient that could be life-threatening if it is not timely addressed. Meningitis is often mistaken for a less critical condition because of its symptoms that are synonymous with symptoms of other illnesses. Therefore, it becomes very important to spot the common symptoms for meningitis to prevent this from becoming serious enough to be a threat to one’s life.
The early signs of meningitis are same as that of a common seasonal flu. In fact, the disease begins like the flu or infection at the start. So, it is common for doctors too to fail to recognize it or mistake it for other common infection. If one knows how to detect if someone might be suffering from among the common or listed symptoms for meningitis, a lot of lives could be saved.
There are many commonly listed symptoms for meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is quick to develop; it can take hours or a few days to develop. Moreover, viral meningitis is also quick to develop. It is important to know that there are two types of meningitis: viral meningitis and bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is more than the former. Viral Meningitis can be cured easily without much complication, but bacterial meningitis is most likely to remain uncured and can become more serious.
The commonly listed symptoms for meningitis include fever, headache, and a stiff neck.
However, there are more commonly listed symptoms for meningitis such as the following.
– Sensitivity to bright light
– Poor appetite
– Patients may also go into a coma in more serious cases.
Infants can show symptoms such as fever, poor feeding, lethargy, and irritation. A part of the head may appear as bulging. It is recommended to visit the doctor immediately in case you observe any of the symptoms of meningitis in a child. Newborns suffering from meningitis can be very difficult to comfort. They may cry continuously, more than usual.
In individuals above the age of 2, the commonly listed symptoms of meningitis such as a sudden high fever, severe headache, stiffness in neck and skin rash may also indicate meningitis.
It is difficult to say if someone has meningitis without a proper diagnosis. Therefore, if you think one is at risk of meningitis, it is important to see a doctor. A delay in seeing a doctor can cause the condition to become much more serious.
Bacterial meningitis, however, can become so serious that it can cause fatality to a person within days. If treatment is delayed, there is a risk of permanent brain damage and even death. Early medication can prevent the problem from getting worse with time.
Causes of meningitis
Most common form of meningitis is viral meningitis. The other common forms include bacterial meningitis and fungal meningitis. Here are some common causes of meningitis.
Skipped vaccinations – Skipping childhood vaccinations or adult vaccinations may be a risk factor that may cause meningitis. People who have skipped vaccinations are prone to the bacterial or viral meningitis.
Age – Viral meningitis is commonly found in young children, those under the age of 5, while the bacterial meningitis is common among adults under the age of 20.
Environmental – Due to environmental pollution, meningitis commonly breeds in places where there is a lot of pollution and unhygienic conditions. Therefore, students who live in community settings such as dormitories or people living on military bases can suffer from the attack of meningococcal meningitis. Bacterial meningitis spreads through the respiratory passage and spreads fast in large groups.
Pregnancy – During pregnancy, a mother-to-be is at risk of listeriosis, which is an infection caused by the listeria bacteria. Listeria bacteria also cause meningitis. Moreover, listeriosis elevates the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and stillbirths.
Compromised immune system – People with a compromised immune system have an increased risk of meningitis. People such as infants, those above the age of 70 or 75, and people suffering from an illness are usually prone to a form of meningitis. People suffering from a much serious condition such as AIDS, diabetes, and those taking immunosuppressant drugs are prone to the viral and bacterial infection such as meningitis.
There are other forms of meningitis. Two of them are listed below.
Fungi and Mycobacterium tuberculosis are examples of slow-growing organisms that penetrate a membrane and fluid located in the human spine. These alien microorganisms grow inside that membrane to cause chronic meningitis. It takes two and more weeks for meningitis to develop. The symptoms of chronic meningitis include fever, headache, vomiting, and drowsiness. These symptoms are similar to acute meningitis.
It is not much common to see the development of fungal meningitis. This particular kind of meningitis is not contagious. Cryptococcal meningitis is a common form of fungal meningitis. It is more likely to affect people with a weak immune system.