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Traumatic brain injuries – An overview

Commonly resulting from falls, traumatic brain injuries may have immediate effects, as well as long-term complications. Such injuries occur when sudden jolts, violent strikes or piercing injuries to the head damage to the brain.

Having an idea of what to expect from and following their injuries may help those who suffer TBIs and their families to cope with the effects the injuries will have on their lives.

Spotting the effects of traumatic brain injuries

According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injuries may cause an array of sensory, cognitive and physical symptoms. Some of the most common of these include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to sound or light
  • Mood swings or mood changes
  • The unusual onset of depression or anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Seizures

People may also experience persistent nausea or repeated vomiting, an inability to wake up from sleep, significant confusion and loss of coordination. In severe cases, TBIs may cause unconsciousness or coma. These and other symptoms resulting from TBIs may develop immediately or within the first hours after the trauma, or they may take days or longer to appear.

Treating TBIs

The treatment people may receive after suffering brain trauma depends on factors such as the type and severity of their injuries. Mild TBIs may only require over-the-counter medications for any associated headaches and rest to recover. In more serious cases, however, people may require emergency treatment and hospitalization to prevent further injury and to maintain their blood pressure, blood supply and oxygen. Health care professionals may administer medications to help avoid further or additional brain damage and some TBIs may require surgery to address problems with the potential to cause more trauma or death.

Living with brain trauma

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, people who fall and suffer TBIs may require rehabilitation therapies to aid with the resulting cognitive, physical and emotional effects. For example, they may participate in physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapies to improve their remaining skills and help them develop coping mechanisms for their associated challenges. Those who suffer from this type of brain trauma may also receive psychological and vocational counseling.