Meningitis Symptoms

Meningitis symptoms mainly affect the patient’s mentality and brain functions because they involve the meninges of the brain.

Meningitis pictures

Meningitis symptoms primarily involve the meninges of the brain. These are the membranes that encapsulate the brain. These different membranes protect the brain from any trauma and other harmful substances to enter the brain easily. The meninges are composed of three protective layers, i.e., the arachnoid mater, dura mater, and pia mater. An additional layer is the subarachnoid layer. This layer contains the main blood supply of the brain. Each of these layers has their respective functions. Together with the cerebrospinal fluid, the meninges’ main function is to secure the safety of the central nervous system.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is a prospectively fatal infection of the brain’s meninges. Although meninges are considered to be made of tough tissue layers that envelope the brain tissue and the vertebrae, if this disease is not treated immediately, it can lead to the swelling of the brain tissues. This condition can cause an enduring coma, disability, and even bereavement.

Meningitis symptoms can originate from various causes including viruses, side effects, fungi, environmental hazards like heavy metals, and bacteria. The most fatal type of meningitis is caused by certain bacteria. Fungal and bacterial meningitis need a long-term hospitalization while viral meningitis is frequently managed at home. Viral meningitis possesses a better outcome than other types.

Bacterial meningitis is the most detrimental type of meningitis. Roughly 20-25 per cent of bacterial meningitis cases are fatal even with the aid of medical intervention. It progresses quickly. In less than 24 hours bereavement can happen in the majority of patients. Viral meningitis is very difficult to diagnose because it is frequently confounded with influenza. The prognosis of this type of meningitis infection is better than other types. Patients can completely recover after experiencing meningitis symptoms. Antibiotics are useless for viral meningitis.

What are the Causes of Meningitis Symptoms?

Typically, the brain tissue is confined naturally by a tough barrier that is created by various layers of the meninges. Regularly, these structures may help to protect the brain from any trauma. These structures also have their immune system to fight against the invasion of microorganisms. However, for meningitis, this can add to the damage that was caused by the disease. When microorganisms enter the brain, they are in some ways secluded from the immune response of the body. Nevertheless, when the body commenced to resist against the pathogens, the dilemma can be become worse.

During the resistance against the microorganisms, veins and arteries may become permeable which allows blood to leak. The blood already contains white blood cells and pathogens. Since blood leaked from the blood vessels, then the pathogen-fighting cells are introduced to the meninges. Irritation of these membranes may occur, and in due course cause the decrease of the blood supply to the brain tissues. The aggravation of meningitis symptoms may follow.

is typically caused by numerous bacteria. The most usual bacteria are Streptococcus pnuemoniae, but the most contagious bacteria are Neisseria meningitidis. It can spread through airborne transmission. The less common bacteria that can cause the disease are Haemophilus influenza. These cases are becoming less common than before due to the administration of Hib vaccine to infants. Some people possess a higher possibility of having bacterial meningitis. The various risk factors which contribute to the incidence of bacterial meningitis are the following:

  • Elderly people (meningitis symptoms in adults more than 60 years of age)
  • Toddlers and infants
  • Alcoholics
  • Sickle cell anemia patients
  • Cancer patients receiving chemotherapies
  • Organ transplant patients who are taking immunosuppressive drugs
  • Diabetes mellitus patients
  • A history of meningitis
  • Poverty
  • Exposed to crowded places
  • Intravenous drug abuse
  • Hydrocephalus patients with shunt implants

What are Meningitis symptoms?

Only 25 per cent of patients with symptoms of meningitis that progress over a day. The usual incubation period of this disease is one week. Sometimes for a person who is taking antibiotics due to another disease, manifestations will have a longer incubation period or perhaps less damaging. Fungal meningitis will take a number of weeks to progress.

The usual symptoms of meningitis are headache, fever, and stiff neck. Unfortunately, not all patients manifest all these signs. Other symptoms of this disease may include vomiting, photosensitivity, seizures, confusion, sore throat, colds, powerlessness, swelling of joints, and bruises.

When to Ask for Medical Intervention

Symptoms of Meningitis should be recognized as early as possible because this condition can be fatal. Seeking for prompt medical help is very important. It is best for the public to be aware of the classic signs of this disease. Meningitis must be detected and managed immediately regardless of the causative agent that caused the disease. This situation is a medical emergency that is typically assessed in the emergency room relatively than a clinic. Calling an ambulance is the best way to address this situation especially if the patient is already unconscious.