Viral Meningitis In Adults: Causes, Prevention And Treatment

Viral meningitis is often mistaken as flu because of the similar symptoms. It is fairly common and does not cause serious health concerns with fatal outcome.

The outlook for patients with viral meningitis is better than those afflicted with bacterial meningitis. Recovery is expected after following simple methods of treatment.

Causes And Complications Of Viral Meningitis

Causes of viral meningitis in adults

  • The common cause of viral meningitis among adults is a group of virus called enteroviruses. Coxsackievirus and echovirus are included in this category.
  • Serious ailments such as mumps, herpes or measles places risk on developing viral meningitis.
  • Cancer, anemia and diabetes are also linked to viral infections that affect the brain’s meninges.
  • Risk factors like age, alcoholism and certain medications may contribute to cases of viral meningitis.

Viral Meningitis Complications

If viral meningitis is not treated during its early stages, it may lead to complications.

  • Hearing impairments can result from severely infected auditory nerves caused by viral meningitis.
  • Problems with vision such as double vision can come from the virus infection spreading to the visual cortex of the brain.
  • Seizures, chronic headaches and neck pain associated with encephalitis are other complications of viral meningitis.

Treatment For Viral Meningitis In Adults

  • Medicines are administered to relieve fever or body pain caused by the infection; antibiotics are not used for viral meningitis.
  • In general, cases show improved conditions within 1 to 2 weeks, in the absence of medication.
  • Consuming plenty of fluids will help during the course of treatment.
  • If fungal infection is suspected as the cause, thorough diagnosis is required.
  • Some cases are associated with autoimmune diseases, which can find relief from cortisone-based medications.

Prevention Of Viral Meningitis

  • Good hygiene is a good start to preventing the development of viral meningitis as it control the spread of viruses.
  • Practice good hygienic habits such as washing of hands before meals or after entering the home.
  • Avoid unnecessary touching of mouth, eyes and nose while in public areas.
  • To be on the safe side, vaccinations lessen the chances of contracting viruses. Consult the doctor for recommendations on which type of vaccine is best.
  • Keep a clean house, ensuring that kitchen counters, bathroom, computer’s keyboards and work desk are sanitized on a regular basis. Change linens and towels every so often. This will prevent bacteria to thrive in dirty and damp surfaces.