Encephalitis Treatment in South Carolina

Neurology Specialists in Greenville, SC

What is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can be caused by an illness like a virus or bacteria, a side effect of a drug, or a problem with the immune system. Encephalitis is a rare but often dangerous illness that needs to be treated quickly.

Encephalitis Symptoms

You’ll most likely have physical and neurological symptoms when you are suffering from encephalitis.

Some physical signs could be:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Weakness in muscles
  • Nausea
  • Stiff neck

Some neurologic symptoms of encephalitis are:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Confusion
  • Trouble talking or moving
  • Loss of awareness
  • Issues with memory
  • Seizures
  • Having a sensitivity to light

Encephalitis Treatment

Treatments for a brain infection will depend on what kind of encephalitis you have and how bad it is.

Some of the treatments for this condition include:

  • Antibiotics for bacterial encephalitis
  • Antiviral drugs for viral encephalitis
  • If you are having seizures, you can take anti-seizure medications
  • Help with breathing, such as a breathing machine called “mechanical ventilation”
  • Immunomodulators are medicines that stop threats from the immune system
  • Fluids given through an IV to keep you hydrated
  • Steroids, which lower both swelling and pressure in the brain
  • Feeding tube if needed

When to See a Doctor for Encephalitis

The faster you get care, the more likely you are to get better. If you have mild signs of encephalitis, you may want to go to an urgent care center first. An emergency room is the best place to get help for serious problems like seizures and losing awareness.

What Causes Encephalitis?

What kind of encephalitis you get depends on why you got it. And there are many reasons for it, such as:

  • Viruses – Viral encephalitis is caused by infections with herpes, enteroviruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), West Nile virus, and tick-borne viruses. This is the most common cause
  • Immune system issues – The immune system can attack the brain by accident, which is called autoimmune encephalitis
  • Bacteria and parasites – Sometimes, bacterial encephalitis can be caused by these germs

What is the Difference Between Encephalitis and Meningitis?

Both of these conditions are rare but can be severe.

The important differences include:

  • Encephalitis is an infection of the brain
  • The meninges are affected by meningitis. The brain and spinal cord are both protected by this thin layer of tissue

How Long Does it Take for Encephalitis Treatment to Work?

Autoimmune and viral encephalitis may respond to treatment in as little as a few days, but the brain can take some time to heal. Some people have long-lasting effects on their minds that need rehabilitation therapy and changes to their way of life.

Encephalitis Care in South Carolina

If you are experiencing any symptoms of encephalitis, call us at Carolina Orthopaedic & Neurosurgical Associates and we will do what it takes to get you on a treatment plan as soon as possible. Set up a meeting with one of our Neurologists at any of our locations.

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