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Treatment for Meningitis

The correct diagnosis and treatment of meningitis is vital.

Early diagnosis and treatment if you have bacterial meningitis is crucial. Meningitis is caused by diverse factors and each of the 5 known forms of the disease requires different treatment. While the cause of your meningitis is being determined, your doctor might start you on antiviral and antibiotic treatment.

Chronic meningitis is treated based on the primary cause. Antifungal medications usually are prescribed to treat fungal meningitis in combination with specific antibiotics in cases of tuberculosis meningitis. These medications may have serious side effects; therefore treatment might be deferred pending a laboratory validating the cause of the infection.

Corticosteroids are used to treat noninfectious meningitis which is normally the result of an allergic reaction or autoimmune disease. More often than not, no treatment may be necessary, for the reason that the condition can resolve on its own. Cancer-related meningitis treatment or therapy is based on the specific type of cancer.

Bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis are the two most common forms of the disease. Early diagnoses and treatment of bacterial meningitis will prevent brain damage and in more severe cases, death. Bacterial meningitis usually requires immediate hospitalization People with viral meningitis can expect to start feeling better within 3 days of feeling sick and typically fully recover in two weeks. Mild cases of viral meningitis could require home treatment consisting of taking medicine for pain and fever and also drinking extra fluids.

Bacterial and serious viral meningitis may require hospitalization.

What to expect when hospitalized:

  • Antibiotics (penicillin), corticosteroids to stop the growth or kill specific bacteria. Medication to reduce pain and fever. Steroids to stimulate and modifies hormone effects. Steroids are often used to reduce inflammation and assist in tissue repair and growth. In some cases steroids proofed to help reduce swelling around the brain.
  • Oxygen therapy will be given if you experience difficulty to breath.
  • Supportive care. Higher level of care, being monitored by doctors more regularly and you will receive treatment and medication that would not be accessible at home.

Fluids might be given directly into the vein to prevent dehydration.

You might be required to stay in hospital for a few days with meningitis and in more serious cases of the disease your stay might be extended for several weeks. After going home it could be a while before you feel entirely back to normal.

Additional treatment and long term support might be the result of severe cases in which complications occurred, such as loss of hearing.

Prevention is better than cure. Living a healthy lifestyle can decrease your chances of developing the disease.

  • Avoid contact with people whom you know have meningitis
  • Make sure you always get sufficient amounts of quality rest
  • Quit smoking

There are vaccines available that can prevent you of being infected.

  • Type B (Hip) vaccine
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccine

After being discharged from hospital, you might need follow-up treatment. Especially if you had existing conditions before developing meningitis.

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