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Traumatic Brain Injury: Knowing When To Get Help Can Save Lives

A brain injury can occur as a result of a boating accident, slip and fall accident, bicycle accident, nursing home abuse, and other injuries. There are two kinds of brain injuries: impact injuries and contrecoup concussions. Impact injuries occur when the head hits something solid. Contrecoup concussions occur when the head is whipped from side to side or forward and backward. This causes the brain to crash against the skull, which leads to bruising, bleeding, swelling, tearing, and other damage to brain tissue.

The most serious symptoms of brain injury include vomiting and disorientation and loss of consciousness. Loss of consciousness is usually easy to spot, but telling whether sometime is disoriented. Physicians use the Glasgow scale to determine this. The Glasgow scale gauges how well someone is able to keep their eyes open, how well someone is able to respond verbally to questions, and how well someone’s muscle responses work. If someone loses consciousness after a head injury or is unable to answer simple questions, call emergency medical personnel. If someone is vomiting after a head injury, the brain injury may be a medical emergency. Dial 911.

Other symptoms of a brain injury include sensitivity to noise, headaches, tiredness, dizziness, irritability, blurred vision, problems concentrating or doing multiple tasks at once, lack of patience, anxiety, trouble sleeping, trouble remembering things. If someone develops these symptoms after a head injury, they should visit their doctor right away.

Even if you have few or no symptoms, it is a good precaution to visit a doctor after getting a hard bump to the head. You might not notice some symptoms or attribute them to something else or you might have fewer symptoms than the average patient. Prompt treatment of a head injury is important. Your doctor can test for brain injury and can refer you to a neuropsychologist or specialist if necessary.

If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury and are under a doctor’s care, it is important to take things easy. Discuss carefully with your doctor the activities you can and cannot do. Discuss your exercise routine, for example. You may have to temporarily give up some sports as you heal. You will also need to be careful about preventing another brain injury. Another brain injury can cause serious complication and can even prove fatal.

Many patients who sustain a brain injury are aggravated by their symptoms and frightened by their diagnosis. Some patients have a hard time returning to their jobs or daily activities. Many feel upset about the sports and other activities that they are missing. If you are experiencing any of these feelings, consider seeking support. There are many support groups available for people who have sustained a head injury. In many cases, these groups can help you as you heal from your injury.

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