Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Meningitis

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It usually develops due to bacterial infection, but in some cases virus and fungi are also known to play foul.

What causes meningitis?

Meningitis is majorly caused due to bacteria such as streptococcus pnenumoniae, neisseria meningitidis, haemophilus influenzae and listeria monocytogenes. When caused due to bacterial infection, the condition can get life threatening. In cases, when meningitis is caused due to viral infections then the condition is less serious and usually clears up on its own.
In addition to bacteria and viruses, meningitis can also occur due to other factors such as drug allergy, chemical irritants, inflammatory diseases and some types of cancer.

What are different types of meningitis?

Meningitis is of 2 types: aseptic also known as viral meningitis and bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is further classified into the following types:
  • Meningococcal
  • Staphylococcal
  • Gram negative
  • Tuberculous
  • Pneumococcal

How does meningitis spread?

Meningitis is contagious in nature and can spread from one person to another. The following are the various ways through which the infection can spread:
  • Sharing the same utensils of infected person
  • Kissing
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing

What are the symptoms of meningitis?

Meningitis can strike any individual at any age; but children less than 5 years are at an increased risk. The following symptoms are experienced by the sufferers:
  •  Sudden onset of high fever
  • Difficulty in waking up / feeling of sleepiness throughout the day
  • Severe headache which is pretty much different from the common types experienced
  • Stiffness in the neck region
  • Experiencing difficulty in concentration
  • Seizures
  •  Vomiting accompanied by headache
  • Loss of interest in eating
  • Development of rashes (only in cases with meningococcal meningitis)
  • Experiencing sensitivity to light

What are the different stages of meningitis?

Meningitis usually progresses through the following 3 stages:
  • Development of an infection
  • Onset of symptoms
  • Disease resolution

What is the treatment of meningitis?

Treatment of meningitis largely depends on the type of infection that has set in. The following methods are employed for treating different infections:
  • Bacterial meningitis is treated through antibiotic injections along with cortisone medicines. The type of antibiotic given depends on the type of bacteria that is causing the infection.
  • Viral meningitis cannot be treated through antibiotics and it often resolves on its own. However, individuals are advised to take plenty of rest along with fluids and medications to relieve accompanying symptoms.

How can meningitis be prevented?

Vaccinations are one of the major ways of preventing meningitis. The various vaccinations include haemophilus influenza type b vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, meningococcal conjugate vaccine and haemophilus influenza type b vaccine along with neisseria meningitidis serogroups C and Y vaccine.
In addition to vaccinations, the following measures can be adopted to prevent the spread of infection:
  • Frequently washing hands
  • Staying healthy
  • Practicing good personal hygiene
  • Covering mouth during sneezing and coughing
  • Consumption of hygienic food during pregnancy

What are the diet and lifestyle changes in meningitis?

Individuals infected with meningitis are advised to drink plenty of fluids, more so if they are suffering from viral meningitis. It is also necessary to take plenty of rest and practice good personal hygiene to avoid spread of the infection.

What is Ayurvedic treatment of meningitis?


Various Ayurvedic formulations are pretty helpful for treating the condition of meningitis. The medications used include: vata chintamani, Krishna bhairava, kasturi bhairava, siddha makaradhwaja and sauhhagya vatl.

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