What Is Lockjaw
Lockjaw symptoms are very much dreaded in various parts of the globe and there are good reasons for that. As you might have heard, lockjaw is also referred to as tetanus and it is not a condition to be trifled with. By the time you finish going through this piece, you will know a lot more about lockjaw. Lockjaw as a condition primarily affects the muscular and nervous system.
What Causes Lockjaw
Lockjaw is causes by a bacterial infection, and as hinted earlier on, it targets mainly the muscles and the nerves. In places like the United States of America, getting a tetanus infection is quite rare considering the fact that millions of people have already been vaccinated against it. However, there are times when people get infected and then come down with the various symptoms. This is seen more in older subjects and agricultural workers who get exposed to animal manure from time to time.
Another group of people who can also become infected are those who have suppressed immune systems and newborns of mothers who have not been appropriately immunized.
Top 5 Lockjaw Symptoms Exposed
The symptoms of lockjaw have been described as classic and it is quite easy for you to spot them. The major features are:
- Stiffening of muscles: This is initially observed in muscle groups around the jaw and neck. Then with time, it spreads to other parts of the body.
- Breathing problems: As a result of the muscles of the respiratory system becoming stiff, there are severe breathing difficulties which worsen with time.
- Cardiac abnormalities: There is also problem with structures of the cardiovascular system, particularly the heart.
- Excessive sweating.
- Uncontrollable urination.
The following above are the most commonly observed lockjaw symptoms and if you happen to see anyone of them, then you need prompt medical attention.
What You Can Do About Lockjaw / Tetanus
Considering the fact that lockjaw is a bacterial infection, its management will also to a great degree will also depend on tackling the infection itself. Thus, you need to realize the important fact that a tetanus infection is not just your regular infection, and you should not take medications yourself without the advice and supervision of a trained medical expert.
Fortunately, there are various measures that can be taken to address the case.
In many health centers, the standard form of treatment is the administration of tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and tetanus immune globulin (TIG) or an antitoxin while managing the wound.
The type of the wound itself and the history of the person’s immunization are also factors that are usually considered. TIG is often added to the mix when the wound is a very serious one.
The precise mix of medications or vaccines to be used are decided by trained specialists. What that simply means is that if you do not have the adequate training, then you cannot take any line of treatment on your own as this can even worsen the case.
In a situation where these measures fail and the disease eventually develops, with debilitating features such as violent and painful muscle spasms, then all that will be done to control the lockjaw symptoms will be supportive care and therapy.