5 Symptoms of Meningitis That Every Parent Should Know About
Meningitis is a severe inflammation of the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord, which is caused by viral or bacterial infection. The most common symptoms of meningitis are severe headache, fever, stiffness, as well as sensitivity to light, and muscular rigidity. However, at many cases these symptoms might indicate some other medical condition and it is quite easy to mistaken these symptoms with the symptoms of flu and sometimes the patient doesn’t get the proper treatment.
If is left untreated, meningitis can become life threatening disease. That is the reason why every parent should know the symptoms which indicate meningitis:
As it is mentioned above, the inflammation spurs from the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord and because of that, most patients who are suffering from meningitis experience stiffness in the neck and back.
In case of meningitis, the swelling is constant and causes a discomfort, a sudden fever or headache.
Medical experts explain that cold could develop into viral meningitis, but this type of meningitis is life threatening or potentially harmful to the health of others. But, in case you have an unexplained stiffness in the neck area, it is highly advisable to visit a doctor.
Sudden fever usually occurs with meningitis as it enters the body, and as a result of that, the patient has increased body temperature. When the patient develops meningitis, the immune system reacts and fever occurs within 3-7 days.
Unfortunately, this is the not most common symptom of meningitis and the self-diagnosing is extremely difficult. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, about 44% of the patients who have infection will experience this symptom.
Therefore, if fever does not subside, you need to consult a medical expert.
Severe headache that does not go away is another sign of meningitis. The headache occurs as a result of the inflammation and swelling in the membranes around the neck and spinal cord.
According to doctors, the extremely painful headaches are one of the most common symptoms of meningitis.
However, it is of extreme importance to identify the type of headache you have. When the headache occurs as a result of meningitis, the patient experiences pain that does not go away, even after the patient takes an analgesic (painkiller). This type of headache will subside if the patient takes proper meningitis medication.
At some patients, the meningitis causes severe swelling of the brain which can hinder patient’s ability to function. As a result of that, the patient experiences confusion, insomnia, a dizziness, inability to focus, memory loss and difficulties waking up.
Doctors explain that when the patient experiences confusion, it can be manifested in many different ways. For example, some patients have trouble discerning what is a dream and what is real, their memories are not clear or even they completely forget certain milestones. Additionally, some patients, particularly the elderly, can deal with this confusion for quite long period of time.
- Loss of Appetite
Meningitis can affect the digestive system by causing nausea and constant vomiting. Moreover, some patients experience loss of appetite or even avoid eating anything because of the fear they might vomit it all up. After a certain period of time, this can lead to extreme and unhealthy weight loss, which furthermore can lead to even more severe health issues.
Patients who suffer from meningitis need to consume food that is abundant with nutrients in order to strengthen their immune system. On this way, the organism can fight off the infection much easier. In most severe cases, patients get admitted to the hospital and get an intravenous feeding so they can stay hydrated.