Meningitis refers to the infection in the meninges which is the tough outer covering of the brain and and spinal cord. Meningitis may lead to very serious complications at it may be fatal if the symptoms of meningitis in adults are not identified in the early stages. The Meningitis may be caused due to bacteria, fungus or virus. Meningitis due to bacteria are very rare but they are more fatal in comparison to that caused by virus.
Meninges protects the brain from the action of immune system by acting as a barrier in between brain and the bloodstream. However, when bacterias reaches the meninges and causes infection then immune system starts fighting it and in this process the infection fighting particles also affect the brain and meninges causing swelling and limiting the blood flow in the affected part of the brain which may damage the brain and affect proper functioning of the brain.
Children below 5 years and those above 50 years are at higher risk of suffering from meningitis. Those who are alcoholic, undergoing chemotherapy, having cancer or infection in the ear, are suffering from diabetes and anemia are more prone to meningitis.
Symptoms Of Meningitis In Adults
It is one of the most common symptoms of meningitis in adults which affects almost every patient of meningitis. The headache is generally mild in the initial stages but as the infection increases it may increase considerably within a couple of days.
It is one of the characteristic symptoms of meningitis and you must consult a doctor immediately if you are suddenly having a stiff neck. Person may face difficultly in seeing sideways and flexing the muscles of the neck.
Nausea And Vomiting
Person may also suffer from nausea and vomiting due to meningitis. Vomiting may be caused due to severe headache as a result of the infection. About 35% people suffering from meningitis vomit several times.
In most cases it is the first symptom which appears in the person suffering from meningitis. Body temperature may rise up to 104 degree Fahrenheit and it may continue for several days. You may also suffer from chills.
You may observe that the person is trying to avoid exposure to light. Meningitis patients are very sensitive to bright light. They are photophobic which means they have fear of light.
Patients of meningitis may feel fatigued as a result they are unable to do any physical activity and they may also avoid activities which excite them due to tiredness.
You may notice that the person suffering from meningitis is very confused. As a result he may not be able to concentrate properly or recall recent activities. He may behave in an unusual manner.
Symptoms of meningitis in adults may worsen rapidly so it is important that it is diagnosed as soon as possible and treatments starts immediate to prevent any further complications. Doctor may take help of diagnostic tests like blood culture, to see whether bacteria is growing or not, CT scan and lumbar puncture in which a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is studied. Meningitis caused due to viruses can be easily treated with the help of medications. However, bacterial meningitis requires immediate treatment and the doctor may prescribe you antibiotics depending upon the type of bacteria.