Does your teen suffer from severe fever and persistent headache regularly? Does she also complain of stiff neck and drowsiness? If you nodded along in concern, you should read our post. She might suffer from meningitis? What is it? How does it happen? How do you treat it? Get the answers to your questions here.
What Is Meningitis?
The inflammation of meninges is the main reason for meningitis in our body. Meninges are the outer membrane, which cover the brain and the spinal cord. When the fluid surrounding the membrane becomes infected with harmful viruses, it triggers meningitis in the body (1).
Types Of Meningitis In Teens:
Depending on what causes the inflammation, there are two main types of meningitis in teens:
- Viral Meningitis:
Harmful viruses infect the meninges in the brain, and your teen contracts viral meningitis. In most cases, viral meningitis can lead to prolonged fever and seizures in teens.
- Bacterial Meningitis:
Meningitis occurs due to harmful bacteri
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Symptoms Of Meningitis In Teens:
How do you know your teen has meningitis? Well, some signs and symptoms of meningitis in teenagers to help you spot it will include:
- Stiff neck
- High temperature (fever)
- Muscle pain
- Cold hands and feet
- Severe pains and aches in the back and joints
- Sensitivity to light
- Rapid breathing (3)
What Causes Meningitis In Teenagers:
There are many causes of meningitis in teens. Some of the important ones include:
- Disease-Producing Germs (Viruses And Bacteria):
The harmful bacteria and viruses infect meninges of the human body, which can lead to teenage meningitis.
- Weak Immunity System:
If your teen has a weak immune system, she is more prone to contracting harmful viruses (typically staphylococci and pseudomonas.), which can lead to meningitis.
- Anatomical Defects:
Teenagers suffering from congenital or acquired anatomical defects may suffer from recurrent bacterial meningitis.
Diagnosing Meningitis In Teens:
Doctors use many tests and diagnosis to determine whether your teen has meningitis. Some of the tests include:
- Lumbar Puncture:
The diagnosis occurs by inserting the sharp needle in your teen’s spinal cord. Doctors will collect the spinal fluid and examine it to detect the presence of harmful diseases-producing germs.
- Urine Test:
The doctor may also use urine tests to check for any infection present in your teen’s urinary tract.
- Blood Test:
Total blood count and blood culture
To diagnose the skin rashes
- X-Rays And Computerized Tomography (CT) Scans:
Such scans of the head, chest or sinuses may help diagnose swelling or inflammation in these body parts.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Amplification Test:
The DNA test helps diagnose the antibodies in the teenagers (4).
How To Treat Meningitis In Teens?
Some of the effective medications, to cure the disease of meningitis include:
Antibiotics are oral medications or injections.
If the condition exerts too much pressure on your teen’s mental health, you can consider using corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone.
- Acetaminophen (Paracetamol):
The medication helps to bring down the high temperature caused out of a severe fever.
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If your teenager suffers from seizures, your doctor may prescribe an anticonvulsant, such as phenobarbital or Dilantin.
- Fluid Control:
The problem of dehydration is most common occurrence in teens suffering from meningitis. In such cases, take the appropriate measure to control the fluid level of the body.
Sedatives help calm your teen down and reduce the symptoms of restlessness or irritability. (5)
With appropriate treatment, meningitis is curable. But if your teen suffers from prolonged fever and severe headache, it is better to consult the doctor immediately. Severe meningitis can sometimes hamper the mental health and lead to severe complications in the body.
Have your teen suffered from meningitis? What medical tests did your doctor prescribe? Any special treatment procedure he adopted? Tell us about your story. Leave a comment below.
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