Every year about 1.5 million Americans sustain a severe brain injury.
As a result, brain injuries are the leading cause of disability and death for young adults and young children in the United States. One of the most difficult things about brain injuries is that you can’t see the damage with the naked eye.
Instead, you have to arm yourself with knowledge of the causes and symptoms to determine whether or not you’re at risk. Once you know you have an injury, then you can start taking steps towards recovering, and returning to life as you know it.
What causes brain injuries, and how can someone fully recover? Read on to find out.
Types of Brain Injuries and Their Causes
Let’s look at the different types of brain injuries there are. Here’s a shortlist of major head injuries and conditions that can cause brain damage:
- Skull fracture
- Brain aneurysm
- Brain tumor
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Hypoxic and anoxic
Every year, about 3 million Americans are injured as a result of car accidents. If you’re the victim of a car accident, it could benefit you to reach out to a brain injury lawyer to explore your options.
Concussions are a common type of car accident injury since it’s easy to hit your head during the impact of the crash. Depending on the severity, a concussion can be a mild head injury, or it can develop into a mild traumatic brain injury.
What is a traumatic brain injury? A traumatic brain injury or TBI is any type of injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Whether it’s a simple bump or a penetrating injury, if it causes the brain to stop working normally, it’s considered traumatic.
Another type of TBI is a brain aneurysm. When the wall of a blood vessel or artery becomes weak, it can cause it to swell. As the aneurysm continues to grow, it puts pressure on the tissue surrounding it.
The pressure can cause the aneurysm to rupture, without any warning signs. If the aneurysm ruptures it’s can cause hemorrhage or hemorrhagic stroke. Dangerous bleeding will occur in the tissue surrounding the aneurysm, which can lead to permanent brain damage.
Finally, if someone’s oxygen supply is cut off they can experience either a hypoxic or anoxic brain injury. An anoxic injury happens when the oxygen supply is completely cut off, and a hypoxic injury is the result of a partial oxygen restriction.
Brain Injury Symptoms
Moving on, let’s look at the symptoms and signs of a brain injury. It’s important to keep in mind that when someone’s hit in the head or experiences a car accident, it doesn’t automatically mean they’ll have an injury to their brain. However, if certain symptoms start occurring, it could point towards a serious and traumatic injury.
Here’s a shortlist of brain injury symptoms:
- Weakness in fingers and toes
- Behavioral changes
If there’s an inability to recall a traumatic event, it could be a sign of an injury to the brain. Moving on, if after being struck in the head someone has difficulty retaining new information or learning new skills, it’s highly likely their brain was compromised in some way.
In certain cases, the type of injury that occurs can put an individual at a higher risk of developing dementia or Alzheimers. Excessive sleeping is another sign that the brain was hurt in some way, along with intense feelings of drowsiness or fatigue.
Other signs of injury include difficulty speaking clearly, problems with hearing and vision, as well as a lack of coordination. If an individual is suddenly sensitive to lights or sound, that’s another type of sensory symptom that can result from brain damage.
Having a sudden bad taste in your mouth or an inability to smell things properly are also brain injury sensory symptoms. Finally, a few cognitive symptoms of an injury include having violent mood swings, feeling depressed, or being anxious.
How to Fully Recover
Now you’re ready to explore what a brain injury recovery entails. After experiencing any type of head trauma, it’s important to reach out to your health care provider. Even if you’re not exhibiting any of the injury symptoms, it’s still important to have a doctor check you out.
The sooner you can detect a brain injury, the easier it becomes to treat it. During the first 2-3 weeks after a brain injury, swelling, and changes in your brain’s chemistry can impact your healthy brain tissue. As the swelling decreases, your brain chemistry can improve, and so can the brain’s functions.
The recovery timeline will vary from person to person, and the type of injury will also play a role in how long it takes to feel normal again. The first few months after a brain injury are the most important since this is when most of the healing will take place.
After the first few months, the rest of the recovery process may be slower, but that doesn’t mean gradual improvements aren’t taking place. To have the best recovery possible, it’s a good idea to continue doing things that support your brain’s health for the rest of your life. Being able to drive again, or return to work, are all possible, given enough time and physical rehabilitation.
Live a Normal and Fulfilling Life
Now you know a little bit more about to expect after a brain injury. What’s one thing from our article today that will help you moving forward?
Are you going to be more vigilant, making sure to report any head injuries to your healthcare provider? Or are you going to remember that while the recovery process is slow, that doesn’t mean you should give up hope?
We hope that this article has helped make brain injuries easier for you to understand. To learn more helpful insights, read another one of our articles.