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Meningitis Screening: How to Check Meningitis at Home?

Have you ever suffered from severe neck stiffness without any possible cause to explain it? It can be Meningitis, a viral infection that leads to the swelling of the spinal cord and brain membranes. The meningitis symptoms can be like the flu, but if it remains undiagnosed for a long time can lead to severe consequences. The possible reasons for Meningitis can be bacterial and viral infections, but the other causes can also be cancer, drug reactions, and fungi. Meningitis can happen in both children and adults. Some types of Meningitis are also infectious and can spread through close contact, coughing, and sneezing.  


What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is a medical condition in which you experience inflammation, swelling, and infection in the protective membranes and fluid called meninges around your brain and spinal cord. 


Different types of Meningitis can attack humans, such as: 

  • Bacterial Meningitis 
  • Viral Meningitis 
  • Chronic Meningitis 
  • Fungal Meningitis 
  • Parasitic Meningitis 
  • Other causes of Meningitis can be some forms of cancer, drug allergies, fungi, etc. 


To perform proper treatment, it is essential to know the type of Meningitis you are suffering from. 


Symptoms of Meningitis

Usually, the symptoms of both bacterial and viral infections are almost similar in the beginning. However, the signs of bacterial infections can become severe with time, depending on the patient’s age. 


Some of the usual symptoms of Meningitis include: 

  • Fever 
  • Feeling unenergetic 
  • Feeling irritation 
  • Neck Stiff 
  • Skin rashes 
  • Sensitivity to Light 
  • Feeling disoriented or confused 
  • Severe headache 


Meningitis in infants can lead to some specific symptoms to deal with. The baby may feel cranky, moody, exhausted, unenergetic, and eat poorly. It may be challenging to make them feel comfortable. They also suffer from fever and a soft spot on the head. 


Some of the other symptoms of Meningitis in infants comprise: 


  • Neck and body stiffness 
  • Jaundice or a yellowish effect on the skin 
  • A lower-than-usual temperature 
  • A high-pitched cry 
  • A weak suck 


Meningitis in adults can come with symptoms like: 


  • Seizures 
  • Neck Stiffness 
  • High Fever 
  • Sensitivity to vibrant light 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Altered Mental State 
  • Lower appetite 


How To Check for Meningitis at Home? 

If you are suffering from symptoms like neck stiffness, fever, nausea, and vomiting, it is time that you visit a doctor for a diagnosis. 


However, there are two techniques, including the Brudzinski test and the Kernig test, that can be performed at home to check Meningitis. 


The process of performing the Brudzinski meningitis test at home includes the following: 


  • Step 1: Lie on your back over a flat surface. 
  • Step 2: Push on the back of your neck gradually and gently so your head can move forward. Allow somebody else to do this for you to retrieve a better outcome. 
  • Step 3: Observe that if your knees and hips curve involuntarily, it denotes positive Brudzinski, which means that you may be suffering from Meningitis. 


The process of performing the Kernig meningitis test at home includes the following: 


  • Step 1: Lean back on a flat surface. 
  • Step 2: Raise your leg at the hip and twist your knee to a 90-degree angle. 
  • Step 3: Notice that if you come across pain in your thighs or back, it may indicate a positive Kernig, meaning that you have Meningitis.  


By observing the positive signs of the Brudzinski and Kernig test, you may predict that you have Meningitis. However, there are chances that you can only go right with the tests with proper medical training. Therefore, consulting a well-trained professional doctor is the best option to diagnose Meningitis in its early stage. 


Final Words

Although each type of Meningitis occurs due to different causes, their symptoms are almost identical. If your Meningitis does not happen due to infection, virus, or fungi, then non-infectious Meningitis can also occur because of a physical injury. If you keep Meningitis untreated for a long time, Meningitis can also cause become dangerous and life-threatening. So, don’t keep Meningitis undiagnosed for a long time if you come across the symptoms of Meningitis. 


Medanta Medical Team
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