Archive for the ‘Brain Injury Coping tips’ Category

What Is the Most Common Cause of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls, accidents, and more.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2.8 million people in the United States were treated for a traumatic brain injury in 2013. That is an astounding number of accidents. The leading causes of traumatic brain injuries include slips and falls, traffic accidents, assault, and being struck by an object. According to the reports, there were:

  • 1,320,411 traumatic brain injuries caused by falls
  • 430,836 traumatic brain injuries caused by being struck
  • 383,293 traumatic brain injuries caused by vehicle accidents
  • 255,112 traumatic brain injuries caused by assault/self-harm
  • 217,141 traumatic brain injuries caused by unknown cases
  • 190,959 traumatic brain injuries caused by “other” sources

Traumatic Brain Injury Causes

A brain injury is any type of trauma to the brain that affects the individual physically, emotionally, or behaviorally. Many brain injuries occur at birth, though most occur later due to trauma or illness. Depending on the cause of the brain injury, the situation may be deemed traumatic or non-traumatic. It is up to the doctor to determine which is more appropriate.

As shown in the information gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of traumatic brain injuries occur due to slip and fall accidents. The next common cause is being struck, such as a football injury. Next, we have vehicle accidents. Whiplash is quite a common cause of traumatic brain injuries in a vehicle. When the brain slams against the interior of the skull, it can lead to internal bleeding, bruising, and concussions. Such injuries are considered traumatic brain injuries.

Then, you have non-traumatic brain injuries. Such incidents are often the result of serious illness or medical conditions, not the result of trauma or a blow to the skull. These types of injuries include:

  • Stroke
  • Hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain)
  • Tumors
  • Cancer
  • Brain infections or inflammation

As you can see, non-traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

Traumatic brain injuries have a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms and long-lasting effects. Many of these signs appear immediately following the accident or traumatic event. Others may not appear in full for days or weeks down the line. The situation varies depending on the individual and the accident itself.

Some of the most common symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble with speech
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

Sensory Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Horrible taste
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Cognitive or Mental Symptoms

  • Memory or concentration troubles
  • Mood swings
  • Depression or anxiety

These are just for mild traumatic brain injuries. For moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries, the symptoms worsen and appear within the first few hours to days. Patients experience symptoms such as persistent headaches, vomiting, weakness, loss of coordination, dilation, convulsions, seizures, combativeness, and even coma.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury and requires support, contact TryMunity. We are the leading support network for traumatic brain injury victims and families. Join Trymunity today at community.trymunity.com.

Can a Child Fully Recover From a Traumatic Brain Injury

A child suffering from a traumatic brain injury can recover over time with love and treatment.

By HugYou at Shutterstock

A head injury in a grown adult is bad enough. Such traumatic brain injuries often lead to a lifetime of recovery, changes in behavior, and lifestyle alterations that take quite a toll on both the individual and the family. For a child, the situation is worse. A serious head injury in a child can affect crucial development for years to come. Parents often worry that their beloved child will never fully recover from the injury, or that it will worsen over time. According to research, one in 30 newborns will endure traumatic brain injury by the time they turn 16 years old. These injuries lead to impairments that persist for five years after the incident at minimum.

TBI Recovery in Children

Researcher Vicki Anderson, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and psychology at the University of Melbourne, examined a group of children for a recent study regarding traumatic brain injuries in kids. In total, 40 children took part in the study. These kids were divided into three groups: mild injuries, moderate injuries, and severe injuries.

Those with the most severe traumatic brain injuries had the worst outcome and longest recovery time frame, obviously. According to Anderson, many of these children experience issues with their thinking skills more than any other area. Their overall IQ suffered because of the accident, too. Most were 18 to 26 points lower than the average.

Still, no matter the severity of the injury, Anderson put their recovery “trajectory” at five to 10 years. After that, the kids begin to stabilize and make serious gains. They remain behind their classmates and friends, however. The emotion and development deficits often coincide because of this fact.

Before this study was conducted, many doctors and researchers believed that children with TBI would only worsen with time. However, according to Anderson, this is not the case. The negative effects plateau over time, though the children will never catch up fully.

Helping Children Recover from TBI

As a parent, you will play the most significant role in helping your child recover after a traumatic brain injury. You can provide professionals, such as doctors and psychiatrists, to help assess the day-to-day activities of your son or daughter. During the rehabilitation process, parent involvement directly affects how the child reacts to their situation, their recovery, and how they address the return to home and to school.

Further, during the rehabilitation phase, your child may have difficulty walking, keeping up with personal hygiene, expressing their wants, needs, and desires, and remembering key moments or how to complete a task. They will need all the assistance available to push through this period. Slowly but surely, your child will make small steps and begin on the road to improvement. It is not a losing battle by any means. Over time, larger accomplishments will be made.

If your child has suffered from a traumatic brain injury and is on the path to healing, you may require a support network to push through those last few stages. Allow TryMunity to be your helping hand. Please feel free to call us at any time at (844) 838-2900.

Head Injuries: When to Call a Doctor

An athlete seeing a doctor for a head injury. TryMunity.

Photo by Rocketclips, Inc. for Shutterstock.

Your summer has no doubt been filled with baseball or soccer practices and games on the weekend. We cannot think of a better summer for your kids than being active and getting outside! Now as we move into fall, we move into another fun, but sometimes nerve-wracking sport for parents: football. As enjoyable as Friday night football games are, football is a high-intensity contact sport. It can put a lot of wear-and-tear on the body, something that all athletes, especially long-time players, should keep in mind. There is always some risk of injury when playing sports, specifically head injuries, and these are more common than many athletes and parents realize. As we transition to football season, here are some important points to remember if you or your child sustains a head injury, and you’re wondering whether or not to go see a doctor.

Loss of Consciousness

If the impact of a person’s head injury causes a loss of consciousness, or if that occurs in the aftermath, do not hesitate – get to the emergency room immediately. Even though concussions are generally the most common sports-related head injury, the Mayo Clinic reports that concussion victims do not often lose consciousness, but only in more rare cases. Since it’s not often that we lose consciousness due to force, if anyone is out for even less than a minute, that alone is cause for concern, and you should have everything looked at. Being unconscious for any amount of time could signify deeper head trauma, and should be addressed by a medical professional immediately.

Intense Physical Reactions

If after sustaining a head injury, the person experiences intense, abnormal physical reactions, you should get them to a doctor at once. This could include anything from significant pain in the head, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, powerful vomiting, trouble with vision (or any of the other senses), to even more frightening cognitive issues. Cognitive issues especially can worry parents, because they can include loss of memory, changes in their child’s temperament, mental state, slurred speech, and other signs that are clear indicators that things are not right. Especially when the head injury victim is a child, you need to swing even more to the side of safety and caution, as the brain is still growing and developing. As a parent, if you have any doubts, you should automatically take your child in to see a medical professional. When it comes to someone’s head, whether they’re a child or an adult, don’t take any chances.

Join TryMunity

TryMunity is an online community for survivors of traumatic brain injury and their families. On the site, TBI victims can network, share their stories, update each other on their recovery processes, and more. For more information on TryMunity or to learn more about brain injury, visit us online today at http://www.trymunity.com/.

Differences Between a Concussion and a Traumatic Brain Injury

When listening to conversations about serious head injuries in sports and media, you might hear the phrases “concussion” and “traumatic brain injury” used interchangeably. However, the two types of injury convey very different meanings to those who understand them.

 

Concussions are fairly common amongst athletes and people who enjoy active hobbies. They occur when a person experiences a minor traumatic brain injury. In most cases, they can be extremely difficult to diagnose due to the kinds of symptoms that usually appear.

Traumatic brain injuries, on the other hand, are more life-altering. They occur when an outside force damages the brain in a severe manner, causing permanent changes.

There are two kinds of TBI: open and closed. Open refers to situations in which the skull was penetrated in some way, as in the case of a gunshot to the head. Closed TBIs occur much like concussions. The skull remains intact, but the brain is still affected by the energy that passes through the skull and surrounding tissue.

When a person gets a concussion, they already have a mild traumatic brain injury, but their lives are usually not in danger. However, in some cases, a concussion can lead to moderate or severe traumatic brain injury that can have long-lasting impacts on the patient. Only a doctor can diagnose a brain injury as a concussion, or something more serious. That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as a brain injury occurs.
If you or someone you know is dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, regardless of its severity, you need a support system. Look to TryMunity’s online community for advice, connections, and news. Visit www.trymunity.com to find the tools you need to deal with a TBI.

Head Injury in Toddlers: When to Worry

The years between age one and four might as well be dubbed “the time of unexplained head bruises.” Toddlers are constantly taking tumbles and bumping their young heads on everything from coffee tables to the floor. More often than not, these injuries are superficial, but sometimes children experience serious damage.

 

When your child bumps their head, here’s when you need to start worrying and seek medical treatment:

  • When a goose-egg stops feeling hard. Large head bumps that begin to feel squishy can be indicative of a larger issue and require professional assessment.
  • When kids act sleepy or unusual. Feelings of drowsiness, nausea, or loss of appetite can be symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Clumsiness, unceasing crying, or changes in vision are also concerning symptoms.
  • When the child loses consciousness, either briefly or for a long time. A loss of consciousness should always be read as a serious sign of damage. Immediately take the child to an emergency room for medical treatment.
  • When the toddler complains of a headache. Long-lasting or terrible headaches should be addressed with a trip to the ER to ensure that nothing is wrong beneath the skull.
  • When the head injury won’t stop bleeding. Many scalp injuries will bleed, but you should be concerned if the blood won’t stop after fifteen minutes or more.
  • When clear fluid or blood comes out of the child’s nose or ears. This is definitely not a normal occurrence, even after a bad fall, so seek medical assistance quickly.

If you or someone you know has a young child who suffered a traumatic brain injury, join TryMunity today. This non-profit organization works to increase awareness and provide support for those who have suffered from a TBI. You can share your knowledge, build relationships, and receive support from others who have been in your shoes. Sign up now at www.trymunity.com.

Ways a Traumatic Brain Injury Can Change Your Life

Roughly every 23 seconds, a person somewhere in America suffers a traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, the effects of that injury will probably make permanent changes to the victim’s emotions, thought processes, and physical well-being.

 

Here are the five biggest ways a traumatic brain injury can change your life forever.

  • Inability to perform certain actions. In order to perform any skill or job, your brain must learn how to do so. However, when a brain is permanently injured, that knowledge may be lost. It’s not uncommon for TBI survivors to lose their ability to walk properly, hold items, or even speak in full sentences. Some of these skills can be relearned, but the loss will certainly pose serious problems for any TBI patient.
  • Problems with mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Depending on the type of TBI, a person may begin struggling with outbursts and strong feelings of anger or sadness. TBI survivors may also cry or laugh without reason, which can be difficult to cope with.
  • Unending chronic pain. Although the pain will subside somewhat as your body works to heal, you can experience various sorts of discomfort after a head injury. Some TBI survivors deal with tinnitus or seizures. Others are forced to face lifelong headaches or migraines.
  • Negatively-impacted vision. A larger percentage of TBI victims need glasses or contacts after their injury due to problems with light, color, and other aspects of their vision.
  • Permanent loss of memories. Some people only experience short-term memory loss. Others occasionally lose memories from long ago. Either way, the part of your brain that processes memories may be drastically affected.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by a traumatic brain injury, seek help at TryMunity. This online support group offers advice, companionship, and information to people whose lives have been changed by a TBI. Learn more at www.trymunity.com.

5 Exercises to Practice After a Traumatic Brain Injury

In the wake of a traumatic brain injury, mild or severe, rest is usually recommended so that the brain has a chance to recover. However, as a TBI survivor learns to cope with their life, they tend to become more and more inactive, which can lead to further health concerns. Experts say that TBI victims must develop a safe and effective exercise program in order to enhance their coordination, overall health, and independence.

Here are five different kinds of exercise that are excellent choices for TBI survivors, especially if practiced on a regular (but moderate) basis.

Walking

Although this might not seem like an intense form of exercise, walking can help TBI survivors reap many health benefits. The cardiovascular exercise can strengthen their heart, lungs, and muscles. Furthermore, many TBI survivors struggle with coordination, and learning to walk properly can help them engage in regular activities with less difficulty. Experts recommend walking for roughly half an hour at least three times per week.

Swimming

Like walking, swimming and other forms of water exercise are an excellent source of cardio. The water can also help strengthen muscles and give TBI survivors balance skills. Swimming is a low-impact exercise, and survivors might feel more comfortable moving around in the water than out on dry land.

Aerobic Classes

Studies have found that regular aerobic exercise classes, like Zumba, pilates, and jazzercise, can lead to improvements in motor performance, walking, and other abilities. Plus, it can help people strengthen their memories and learning skills, which are especially important for people who are dealing with symptoms caused by a traumatic brain injury.

Strength Training

Because people with TBIs tend to struggle with balance and coordination, it might be a good idea for them to work on strengthening their bodies. Plus, muscle strengthening can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Yoga

Not only does this type of exercise facilitate flexibility and muscle strengthening, but it also allows for a calm mind through meditation. All of these things can be extremely beneficial for someone who is dealing with the loss of memory, strength, motor skills, and more.

If someone you know has survived a traumatic brain injury, consider joining TryMunity with them. It’s an online community of TBI survivors and their friends and family, who are available to offer support and advice. Join TryMunity today at www.trymunity.com.

Daily Ways to Exercise Your Mind After a Brain Injury

Every year, millions of Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries that change their lives permanently. TBI’s can disrupt psychological functions and make socializing with others difficult, depending on the degree and form of injury.

Because so many TBI survivors struggle with normal cognitive functions, it’s important that they work to maintain their mental abilities in the wake of the injury. Daily training through exercises and tools can assist with memory, social skills, and more.

Here are three important kinds of training exercises for TBI survivors to engage with regularly if they want to improve their cognition and lead a mentally healthy life.

Reading Comprehension Quizzes

More often than not, people with traumatic brain injuries struggle with memory and reading. Therefore, keeping up with the plots of stories can be challenging. Encourage the TBI survivor to engage with short passages and quotes so that they continue to read and build memory pathways. Eventually, they may be able to finish regular sized books and keep up with more complicated storylines.

Card Games Based on Memory

Remember playing Go Fish and Old Maid as a kid? These were great ways to stimulate your young brain and build your memory, as well as strengthen your interpersonal abilities. TBI survivors might not be children, but while recovering from an injury, their brains do require more stimulation and training than the average adult’s. Challenge them to a few games each day to help them focus on simple skills.

Computer and Video Games

Modern technology can drastically improve a TBI survivor’s quality of life if they are able to utilize it. Smartphone apps, electronic notepads, computers, and even video game consoles can enhance their memories and encourage healing over time.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, consider reaching out to TryMunity. It’s a non-profit organization that helps to increase awareness about TBI’s while supporting those who have been affected by them. Join their online social community to share your story, receive advice, and build meaningful relationships. To learn more or join today, visit www.trymunity.com.

Methods for Overcoming Daily Struggles With a Traumatic Brain Injury

Everyday life as a survivor of a traumatic brain injury can be challenging. The injury can cause physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems, and simple daily tasks can suddenly seem impossible to accomplish.

However, with time and training, TBI survivors can steadily recover and find ways to handle their new situation. Here are a few steps they can take to make their lives easier on a day-to-day basis.

  • Stay on top of their medications. Many survivors are prescribed diuretics, anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxers, and other medications. It is vital that people with TBIs take them as prescribed to prevent further damage and help with their recovery process.
  • Keep up with a consistent routine. A steady schedule can help TBI survivors feel more in control of their day and decrease their confusion.
  • Write things down to avoid forgetting them. Most people with traumatic brain injuries struggle with memory problems, so it’s best for them to record important notes as they think of them. This will minimize the stress of trying to remember things and help them stay on top of their daily tasks.
  • Minimize outside distractions. Loud music, television, lights, and other stimulants can cause TBI survivors to feel unfocused or overwhelmed. Try to keep things calm to soothe their brain and make concentrating easier.
  • Join a support group. People with traumatic brain injuries need to have a place where they can discuss their struggles and ask questions. The other members might be able to suggest coping strategies, and they can even help survivors form new friendships that provide emotional support.

If you’re interested in finding a support network, consider joining the non-profit organization called TryMunity. Their online social community works to increase awareness about TBIs while offering support and advice to survivors and their families. By joining, you’ll be able to meet people going through the same situations and share your story with others. To learn more or sign up, visit www.trymunity.com.

After a Concussion: How to Avoid Further Damage

Hearing from your doctor that you have sustained a concussion can be scary and challenging. Although most individuals will recover completely from a concussion, it is still important to know the steps to take to feel better. Even if you are only experiencing minor symptoms from your concussion, your body has still experienced a lot and needs to be taken care of. Read below for some tips on what to do after a concussion to avoid further damage.

Avoid physically demanding activities

The number one thing to do after a concussion is to REST. You may not be able to do the normal day to day activities that you are used to accomplishing, and it may take you longer to complete certain tasks. Be sure to listen to your healthcare professional’s guidance as to when you can return to your normal activities and when you can continue more physically demanding activities such as working out and house cleaning.

Take care of your body

Make sure you are also eating a good diet. If you need more support to get healthy food or meals, reach out to friends, family, or local organizations for support. Now is the time to be patient with your body and allow it time to heal.

Additionally, it is also important to be managing your medications that your physician has prescribed and also avoiding any other kinds of drugs or alcohol until your physician says you are well enough. If you have difficulty remembering to take your prescribed medications, be sure to ask a trusted friend or family member for help.

Prevent further concussion opportunities

While you are healing, it is very important that you try to reduce the chances of pumping or jolting your head. Because your brain is still healing, it is important to reduce any chance of further physical damage.

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You!

Do you have further questions about avoiding damage after a concussion? Don’t hesitate to contact TryMunity. Here at TryMunity, we provide a vast, comprehensive web of resources for just that! We also have several support systems for those afflicted with a traumatic brain injury, or who know of someone who is. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! Join the TryMunity community today, and take advantage of all that we offer. We’re always happy to speak with you, and offer our assistance.