Complications Of Meningitis

In general, nearly all people with viral meningitis and 70 to 80 percent of people with bacterial meningitis will recover, although that varies by age and health of the patient.

Although most people make a swift and complete recovery, meningitis (particularly the bacterial form) can result in a variety of after effects. Some of these effects are permanent and physically disabling and some are less obvious, affecting the individual emotionally.

According to the National Meningitis Trust in England, infants and young children often face minor complications following meningitis. These include:

  • Babyish behavior
  • Temper tantrums
  • Forgetting recently learned skills
  • Reverting to bed-wetting
  • Insomnia

Older children and adults may experience:

  • Lethargy
  • Recurring headaches
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Clumsiness
  • Balance problems
  • Depression
  • Bouts of aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Learning difficulties

Need To Know

One of the most common problems resulting from meningitis is hearing loss. Temporary or permanent deafness affects about 1 in 10 people following meningitis. Anyone who has had meningitis should take a hearing test.

Other serious complications can include:

  • Brain damage
  • Epilepsy
  • Changes in eye sight

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