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More Diseases & Conditions
More Diseases & Conditions Articles
A brain abscess is a collection of pus enclosed in the brain tissue, caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. A brain abscess can develop as a complication of an infection, trauma or surgery. They are rare, although people with weakened immune systems (such as people with HIV or those who have received an organ transplant) are more likely to get a brain abscess.
This type of infection usually begins in one of these ways:
It spreads from a nearby site, such as a middle ear infection, sinus infection or dental abscess.
Blood carries the infection from further away in the body to the brain.
Infectious organisms enter the brain through a penetrating injury, such as a gunshot wound, or from neurosurgical procedures or facial trauma.
A rash is a temporary eruption or discoloration of the skin and is often inflamed or swollen. Rashes come in many forms and levels of severity, and they last for different amounts of time.
Treatment depends on the cause of the rash:
Infections — Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Fungal infections are treated with antifungal medications. Many viral infections that cause rash will go away within several days and require no medication. Less often, antiviral drugs are necessary.
Allergic reactions — A severe allergic reaction is a life-threatening medical emergency. It must be treated immediately with epinephrine, a medication that opens narrowed airways and raises dangerously low blood pressure. High doses of corticosteroids and antihistamines also are used to suppress the immune system's reaction. Localized allergic reactions can be treated with topical or oral corticosteroids, antihistamines and ice to relieve the itching and swelling.
Local irritants — Diaper rash is treated by changing diapers frequently and using nonprescription creams or ointments that contain zinc oxide and mineral oil.
Poisonous plants — The skin should be flushed thoroughly with warm water to remove the allergenic substance. Only then should you lather with soap and water. If you use soap immediately before flushing the skin with water, you are apt to spread the allergenic plant oil over your skin. Once you have washed off the oil, it cannot spread. The rash is often treated with prescription topical steroids. However, oral steroids may be needed for extensive rashes or rashes on the face.
Autoimmune disorders — These illnesses are treated with corticosteroid and immunosuppressive drugs, medications that suppress the patient's overactive immune system.
Endophthalmitis is an inflammation of the inside of the eye. Inflammation affects the vitreous fluid in center of the eye. Vitreous fluid is a clear, gel-like substance. The inflammation can extend to surrounding tissues responsible for vision. Endophthalmitis is rare.
In most cases, an infection triggers this inflammation. The infection can be caused by:
In the United States, most cases result from bacterial infections that follow eye surgery. For example, the condition may follow a procedure to treat cataracts or glaucoma. Bacteria also can enter the eye through an injury that pierces the eye.
Less often, an infection from elsewhere in the body can travel to the eye through the blood.
A meniscus is a disk-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber inside a joint. Each knee has one lateral meniscus under the outer knob of the thighbone and one medial meniscus under the inner knob of the thighbone. Each meniscus acts as a natural cushion between the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). The two cushions prevent excess wear and tear inside the knee joint by keeping the ends of the two bones from rubbing together. Each meniscus also absorbs much of the shock of jumps and landings and helps to distribute joint fluid evenly to lubricate and nourish the knee.
Croup is a common respiratory illness in children that causes a change in breathing with a hoarse voice and a brassy, barking cough. Doctors sometimes call croup laryngotracheitis because it usually involves inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).
Croup often is divided into two broad categories:
Infectious croup is caused by an infection with a virus, bacterium or other germ. In the United States, most cases of croup are caused by a virus. These infections usually occur in the fall and winter when people spend more time indoors.
Under these conditions, the virus spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. It also can travel on dirty hands and on things that have had contact with fluids from a sick person's nose or mouth. These include used tissues, toys, drinking glasses and eating utensils.
Once the virus enters the body, it usually begins to attack the upper parts of the breathing system. For this reason, a child with croup may first complain of cold symptoms. These may include a runny nose or nasal congestion. The child also may have a low-grade fever or a mild sore throat.
Later, the virus spreads farther down the throat. The linings of the voice box and windpipe become red, swollen, narrowed and irritated. This triggers hoarseness, a barking cough, and loud, raspy breathing (stridor).
Spasmodic croup is very similar to infectious croup. It can be triggered by infection, but it isn't caused by infection. It tends to run in families, and may be triggered by an allergic reaction.
Spasmodic croup tends to come on suddenly, without fever. Sometimes it can be hard to tell spasmodic croup from infectious croup.
Infectious croup is most common in children younger than age six. Spasmodic croup usually affects children who are between three months and three years old. Before the age of three months, a child's risk of either type of croup is fairly low.