Brain injury is a broad term for a number of cognitive disorders that can occur when an external force acts on the brain, usually a violent blow to the head. Specific types of brain injury can include concussions, contusions, coup-contrecoup injury, diffuse axonal injury, and a variety of other traumatic injuries.
Brain injuries are very serious and should not be taken lightly. While rest and time can often cure physical symptoms such as headaches, brain injuries can have devastating permanent consequences if left unchecked long enough.
Brain injuries may lead to delayed or immediate effects, including headaches, difficulty concentrating, blurry vision, and general confusion. Physically, brain injuries can also lead to an inability to speak, nausea and vomiting, or dilated pupils. It is also not uncommon for victims to suffer internal bleeding, bone fractures or bruises, a ringing in the ears, or stiff muscles.
Brain injuries are particularly felt mentally and emotionally. A brain injury victim could possibly suffer from amnesia, irritability, aggression, lack of restraint or inhibitions, and additional feelings of anger, apathy, loneliness, and depression.
Treating brain injuries requires a comprehensive plan to address all of the apparent symptoms that pose threats to the patient’s safety and well-being. As a result, brain injury treatment typically utilizes a team of licensed therapists and health care providers to identify and evaluate the patient’s physical, cognitive, and psychological functionality. Areas of deficit are targeted and treated with rehabilitative techniques tailored to meet the individual’s needs.
As with all issues in healthcare, the goal is to get the patient better. However, some brain injuries are too severe to cure entirely, and many patients may live with the effects of their injury for the rest of their lives. Proper treatment is, therefore, focused on managing symptoms and better reintegrating the individual back into work and society.