Meningitis is a disease during which the membranes of the spinal cord and brain become inflamed. The course is quite heavy and often fatal. The most important condition for successful treatment is the timely diagnosis of the disease. In order to save your life and health in case of infection, everyone needs to know how the symptoms of meningitis appear in adults.
Five facts about meningitis
- There is an opinion that mainly children are affected by this disease. But do not overlook the fact that 40% among patients with meningitis are adult patients.
- Depending on the nature of the pathogen, primary meningitis has the following varieties:
- Infection with secondary meningitis can occur if a person with any infectious disease has undergone surgery in the spinal cord or brain.
- When communicating with a patient, infection with airborne droplets or fecal-oral (if personal hygiene is not observed) is possible by only bacterial and viral meningitis. The dangerous virus also enters the bloodstream when rodents and ticks bite.
- Mushrooms that make up the normal microflora of the human body, with severe pathologies and low immunity can cause inflammation of the meninges.
How to understand that an infection has occurred?
Damage to the lining of the brain can also cause chronic diseases:
Immediately after infection, meningitis may not provoke clear symptoms in adults, because the incubation period is from 2 to 7 days. In most cases, people begin to feel signs of this disease 3-4 days after infection. The first symptoms of meningitis in adults are:
- persistent headache;
- lack of coordination of movements;
- general weakness;
- increase in body temperature to 39 ° C, and then to beyond the limits;
- skin rash in the form of stars of irregular shape;
- vomiting without nausea;
- flushing of the face, throat and tonsils.
Pain increases with a change in body position. In the future, with a severe course of the disease appear:
- strabismus (due to paralysis of the muscles of the eyes);
- increased heart rate;
- lowering blood pressure;
- speech confusion;
- stiff neck and occipital muscles;
- clouding and loss of consciousness.
If a bacterium became the cause of the disease, then the onset will be sudden, and then the discomfort will rapidly increase, and the fever, chills, and rash will increase:
- appearance of blood in the conjunctiva of the eye;
- internal and external bleeding;
- deadening of the ears;
- Inflammation of the brain in the nasopharynx, ears and respiratory organs is often accompanied by inflammation of the brain.
Viral meningitis provokes less pronounced symptoms in adults. In the early days, the disease is quite difficult to distinguish from the usual ARVI, but after a few days, headaches and other clinical manifestations are greatly enhanced.
When fungal meningitis within 15-20 days in patients gradually occurs:
and the so-called meningeal syndrome, which is not uncommon for meningitis of any kind. Its signs are focal neurological symptoms:
- impaired mobility of muscles (including the eye) and joints;
- intolerance of visual and auditory stimuli (bright light, loud music, strong smell, touch);
- crying mood;
- hearing impairment;
- local paralysis, paresis and loss of sensation.
In patients with immunodeficiencies of various etiologies, meningeal syndrome is usually absent, and the remaining symptoms are very weak.
Consequences of meningitis
If such a dangerous disease as meningitis is not treated, the symptoms in adults worsen, and (with rapid development in 1-2 days) irreversible consequences begin:
- swelling of the meninges;
- falling into a coma;
the process of death ends.
In the case of a severe form of the disease, the cause of which has become the causative bacterium or fungi, doctors with great difficulty struggle for the patient's life. And even with successful treatment of a sick person, most likely, there is a long-term disability due to:
- hearing or vision loss;
- amputation of limbs.
With a milder form of such meningitis, most of these problems can be avoided, but a very long rehabilitation period will still be required.
For those who are sick with viral meningitis, full recovery can occur in 2 weeks. However, the relatively mild course of the disease and timely treatment will not save from residual effects that may persist for several months:
- disorders of the autonomic nervous system;
- recurring headache;
- instability of intracranial pressure.
Therefore, all those who suffer from meningitis should be registered in the clinic by place of residence.
What will help in the clinic or hospital?
To diagnose meningitis, you need to do:
- lumbar puncture, that is, take the cerebrospinal fluid;
- general urine and blood tests;
- biopsy (to prevent rashes caused by other diseases);
- computed or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain;
- x-rays to detect possible foci of infection in the lungs or nasopharynx.
If the suspicion of meningitis is confirmed, the symptoms are recognized and the treatment in adults is carried out immediately, we can hope for recovery. Only with a very mild course of the disease can you be treated on an outpatient basis, in other cases you can not do without hospitalization.
In a medical institution, drugs are selected, having previously read the results of tests on the sensitivity of microorganisms to certain substances. Depending on the type of the disease, enhanced treatment measures are needed using:
- antifungal agents.
In this case, drugs can be administered not only intravenously, but also directly into the spinal cord. To alleviate the condition, measures are taken to relieve symptoms with the help of appropriate medications.
Do not take your health condition lightly, because infectious diseases often lead to serious consequences: disability, complete loss of working ability, a significant reduction in the quality of life and even death. It is necessary to carefully study the symptoms of meningitis in adults in order not to miss the onset of this dangerous disease, because the timely start of treatment is the only chance for a full recovery.