What is meningitis? causes, symptoms, treatment –

What is meningitis?

To protect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), there are three layers of tissue on them, which are called meninges . When the meninges become inflamed due to some reason, it is called meningitis. This inflammation in the meninges can be caused by some types of bacterial or viral infections . Apart from infection, there can be some other causes of meningitis, about which we will tell you further in the article.

Types of meningitis –

There are six types of meningitis, which are described below.

Bacterial meningitis: In this type of meningitis, infection in the meninges can be caused by bacteria. This infection can be fatal.

Viral meningitis: This type of infection in the meninges can be caused by a virus. This infection is not as dangerous as bacterial meningitis. At the same time, people with strong immunity can avoid this problem.

Fungal meningitis: This is caused by infection caused by fungus. This type is not common, but sometimes the fungus can enter the body through breathing, causing this infection. Apart from this, people suffering from diabetes, HIV and cancer can get this meningitis.

Parasitic meningitis: In this type of meningitis, infection is caused by parasites, which affect the brain and nervous system. This type is not as common as bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis.

Amoebic meningitis: It is caused by a type of amoeba named Naegleria Fowleri. This is a rare type of this infection, which is not easily found in people. In medical language it is called Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis.

Non-infectious meningitis: This type of meningitis is not caused by any infection. There can be some other reasons for its occurrence, like head injury, cancer, brain surgery, some types of medicines or drugs etc.

Causes of Meningitis  :

The causes of meningitis depend on its type. Some of the causes of meningitis can be as follows

  • Certain types of bacteria such as Neisseria Meningitidis or Streptococcus Pneumoniae
  • Viruses that cause viral infections.
  • Parasites like Angiostrongylus Cantonensis, Baylisascaris Procyonis

Symptoms of meningitis :

Symptoms of meningitis can be divided into two parts, which can be as follows

Initial symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and defecation
  • Joint, muscle pain and stiffness
  • cold hands and feet
  • shudder
  • yellowing of skin
  • blue lips

Later symptoms:

  • feeling lazy
  • Confusion
  • Seizure outbreak
  • increased breathing rate
  • intolerance to bright light
  • neck pain

Meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation of meningitis usually triggers symptoms such as headache, fever and stiff neck. Bacteria or viral infections can also cause this.

Some cases of meningitis resolve within a few weeks without treatment. Others can cause death and require long-term treatment in the future.

What not to do in meningitis :

  • Avoid contact with others when one of you, or you yourself, have an infectious disease.
  • If that’s not possible and you can’t avoid others, wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Do not share personal items (such as drinking glasses) with other people.
  • Do not swim or drink contaminated water. Use distilled or treated water for nasal irrigation.
  • Do not consume undercooked or raw meat and seafood.
  • Do not drink unpasteurized milk or eat food made from unpasteurized milk.

What to eat in meningitis?

  • A healthy immune system can help prevent infection by the viruses and bacteria that cause meningitis. In such a situation, you should pay attention to your diet –
  • Eat a healthy diet – including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
  • Strengthen your immune system by exercising regularly.
  • Also, make sure to get the sleep you need.

How long does it take to recover from meningitis?

You may start feeling better within a few days to a week of starting meningitis treatment. Complete recovery may take weeks to months.

Viral meningitis may go away on its own within about a week. Symptoms of bacterial or fungal meningitis may last from a few days to a week or longer after treatment.

It may take weeks to months for some people to recover completely. Others have long-term or permanent health problems.

Treatment of meningitis –

Like the symptoms and risk factors of meningitis, the treatment of meningitis also depends on its type. According to the type of meningitis, it can be treated as follows:

Bacterial meningitis: Antibiotics such as cephalosporins can be given to treat bacterial meningitis. Cephalosporins may be given alone or with ampicillin.

Viral Meningitis: This type of meningitis does not require any initial treatment. It gets cured on its own in 7 to 10 days. At the same time, if the symptoms start worsening, there may be a need to give antiviral medicines.

Fungal Meningitis: Fungal meningitis can be treated with the help of antifungal medicines like Amphotericin B and Flucytosine.

Parasitic meningitis: There is no specific treatment available for this, but medicines can be given to reduce its symptoms. Additionally, medications may be given to reduce the body’s response to the parasite.

Amoebic meningitis: Some medicines, such as Miltefosine, may be recommended to treat amoebic meningitis. Apart from this, taking some more antibiotics and antifungal medicines may be advised.

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