Archive for the ‘Other Brain Injuries’ Category

Can Hitting Your Head Against the Ground Cause Brain Damage?

Patient examining his x-rays. TryMunity.

Photo by Rocketclips, Inc. for Shutterstock

As we are now officially in the fall season, football is on everybody’s minds. Seasons are well underway, both in amateur teams and professional, and there is palpable excitement from fans everywhere. However, if you are a parent of a younger football player, it is important to not get lost in the excitement and forget that there is not only a lot of wear and tear occuring on  athletes’ bodies, but also the ever present risk of a life-changing accident such as a traumatic brain injury. As football is a contact sport, players are prone to be knocked down. This begs the question of whether athletes, or anyone for that matter, can experience brain damage after their head collides with the hard ground.

Brain Damage Can Occur in a Myriad of Ways

The most common type of brain injury that could come from one’s head making intense contact with a hard surface like the ground would be a concussion. But concussions can occur at any time and any place, and against any surface. What happens when a concussion occurs is that your brain inside your skull moves back and forth, having incredibly serious effects depending on the strength of the impact. Concussions are deemed mild traumatic brain injuries, however long-term damage can still occur. Memory and concentration problems are possible extended results of an intense concussion. If you have any doubts that your athlete may have a concussion or any trouble with their head, always err on the side of caution and take them to a medical professional for treatment.

Signs of Brain Damage

After impact with the ground or another surface, there are signs that you should be looking for to determine whether or not someone is experiencing brain damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are different symptoms for different levels of brain damage. In a situation of mild TBI, you should go in if you are: losing consciousness, vomiting, having difficulty speaking, trouble with your balance, and others. Severe traumatic brain injuries will have scarier symptoms, such as: unconsciousness for long spans of time, seizures or convulsions, slurred speech, unusual behavior, weakness, and comas, amongst additional possible indications.

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There are truly an innumerable amount of ways that brain damage can occur. Hitting your head against the ground is only one of them, and athletes should always be cautious if an impact is experienced. Should the worst occur and you are faced with a traumatic brain injury diagnosis, know that you and your family are not alone throughout the recovery process. TryMunity was created as an exclusive community for TBI survivors and their loved ones to share their stories and to partake in a community of people going through similar experiences. Join TryMunity today by going to community.trymunity.com/.

Initial Milestones to Work Towards After a Severe Brain Injury

Every traumatic brain injury calls for different lengths and strengths of treatment. Some TBI survivors will work towards their initial recovery quickly, while others will take much longer to show signs of improvement.

People with the most severe TBI might be in a deep sleep, and will not respond to any stimuli. If their injury was not as severe, they might react to people and outside stimuli, but their reactions will be inconsistent and not what they used to be. How a person progresses depends on what stage they begin in.

However, there are some milestones that every person who has suffered a brain injury will work towards. Here are the first three that indicate a TBI survivor is on the path towards independence and healing.

1.  Responding Accurately to Commands

When a person first incurs a traumatizing head injury, they may struggle to respond to statements appropriately. They will appear confused and seem incapable of following orders. Thankfully, as they work towards recovery, they will slowly start to respond more appropriately and eventually be able to follow suggestions from doctors and loved ones.

2. Understanding Their Daily Routine

Because a person’s memory can be so drastically impacted by a TBI, this is a huge step. Being able to at least memorize and go through a daily routine with little confusion means a TBI survivor is working towards future independence, and perhaps regaining some of their memory capabilities.

3. Showing Signs of Memory Retention

Once a TBI survivor can show that they have a functioning memory, they are truly on the road to recovery. They can now respond appropriately to their environment, remember important details about their day, and communicate more effectively.

Obviously, these three steps are only the beginning of the recovery process, but they are also the stepping stones for a full-fledged recovery. Once a person can communicate and recall important information, they will begin to heal at a much faster rate.

If someone you know or love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, look into joining TryMunity. They’re an online support group that offers advice and knowledge about TBI to help those affected by them, both directly and indirectly. Visit www.trymunity.com to learn more.

5 Signs You Should Not Ignore when You Have a Concussion

Each year, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the wake of some kind of accident. Of those millions, many will go on to lead drastically-impacted lives and will struggle with physical and mental problems.

After a head injury, it can be difficult to determine if the affected person has sustained a concussion that will heal naturally, or if they are experiencing more serious warning signs that could indicate a TBI. When observing someone with a concussion, here are five symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

  1. Difficulty Thinking and Speaking

With a serious concussion, a person may feel their mind start to slow down. This can cause them to struggle with memory problems, concentration, speech, and clear thinking. If the mental struggles are severe enough to be noticeable, this can be a sign of a more serious brain injury.

  1. Excessive Sleepiness

Although fatigue is a common symptom of concussions, it’s not a good sign when the affected person can’t stay awake for very long. If it’s difficult to keep them lucid or if they don’t respond to wake-up calls once they fall asleep, then you should return to the emergency room for further observation and testing.

  1. Seizures or Convulsions

No matter what, these symptoms require further medical attention. A simple concussion with no long-lasting repercussions will not trigger worrisome seizures or convulsions.

  1. Increasing Nausea

It’s normal for people with concussions to feel nauseous, but if they continue to feel increasingly sick and vomit many times, then it might be time to seek further medical attention to ensure there are no underlying issues.

  1. Worsening Headaches that Won’t Subside

Headaches are a very common concussion symptom, but as time passes, the headaches should lessen. Also, they should be treatable with normal pain medication. If the injured person claims that the headaches are getting worse and that the medication isn’t helping, they need to seek additional medical treatment.

If you or someone you know has experienced a TBI as a result of a concussion, don’t hesitate to reach out to the online support group called TryMunity. TryMunity members will offer you the knowledge and support you need to handle this life event.

How Music Can Help Those with Severe Brain Injuries Recall Memories

In recent years, an important discovery has been made in the world of traumatic brain injury research: Scientists found that the use of popular music can help affected patients recall personal memories that they would otherwise struggle to remember. The question is, how does music help?

It’s been widely known for years that music can evoke important memories and emotions for all kinds of people, whether or not they have suffered a brain injury. Just like hearing a song from 10 years back can take you back to a specific age and place, listening to popular music in the wake of a brain injury can give memory a helping hand.

Although scents, discussion, and other tactics can be used to help evoke memories, scientists found that patients who listened to songs were far more likely to recall familiar places, people, and things than those who used other methods. The difference in recall is especially marked in those relying only on discussions about their memories.

It is thought that music stimulates autobiographical memories in a very specific and powerful way. Even people whose brains have been permanently altered or who suffer from amnesia might be able to remember more with music than without.

There is still much research to be done on music and how it triggers memories, but one thing is clear – popular songs can be used as a tool for people who struggle with memory, especially after a serious brain injury.

To learn more about ways to boost memory and deal with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), join the online support group called TryMunity. Family members and friends of people with TBI, as well as the survivors themselves, will offer support and knowledge to help you and your loved ones. Visit www.TryMunity.com today to sign up and learn more.

How to Help Motivate Loved Ones Who Have Suffered Head Traumas

Millions of people around the world are dealing with the aftermath of traumatic brain injuries, as are their friends and families. TBIs can drastically alter a person’s life, their ability to live independently, and their emotional stability. If you are supporting someone who has undergone serious head trauma and who is struggling to recover, here are a few ways you can motivate them to keep pushing through their mental and physical concerns.

Help Them With Daily Tasks

As TBI survivors learn to deal with their new situation, they may struggle to accomplish basic daily tasks like cooking and cleaning. You can help them immensely by providing some assistance and teaching them methods to accomplish their to-do lists. Bring a meal or two by, then show them how they can make the meal themselves. Help clean their house and look into services that can give them the support they need.

Provide Support at Doctor Appointments

Doctor appointments can be nerve-wracking, so offer your company as often as you can. The survivor will appreciate your support, no matter what news they hear during the appointment. Plus, you can drive them to the hospital or doctor’s office if they need transportation.

Encourage Them to Engage in Social Activities

Many TBI survivors tend to withdraw from their regular social circles, which can lead to depression and sadness. Finding a community for TBI survivors is important, though. Don’t force them to go out if they don’t want to, but invite them to fun events with friends and family to encourage social engagement on a regular basis. This will help keep them in a healthy mental state so that they are able to fight their battles with the injury effectively.

If someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, reach out to TryMunity. It’s an online community of TBI survivors and their loved ones, who are available to offer support and advice to others in need. Join TryMunity today at www.trymunity.com.

What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know

brain injury survivorsWhen someone you love suffers a traumatic brain injury, it can be difficult to understand what they need from you during their recovery and after. To help you understand your role in their life, both practically and emotionally, here are a few things you should know:

TBIs Can Cause People to Feel Constant Anxiety and Even Fear

There’s really no other way to phrase it: Traumatic brain injuries are terrifying. One accident changed their life forever and caused them extreme pain, and as a result, many traumatic brain injury survivors live in fear of suffering another accident. Some have problems performing daily activities due to crippling anxiety while others manifest horrifying scenarios inside their heads. Because of these fears, TBI survivors may need therapy and strong emotional support from the people in their lives.

Paying Attention to Conversations Is More Difficult Than It Was Before

If you ever feel that a TBI survivor is ignoring what you’re saying or purposefully not engaging in conversation, remember that their brain is no longer the same. What appears to be a lack of attention might actually be the person’s struggle to understand, remember or communicate. Be patient and give them the time they need to comprehend what you’re saying.

The Pain Doesn’t Really Go Away

When a TBI occurs, the damage can last indefinitely, even if the injuries are invisible to the naked eye. Most traumatic brain injury survivors deal with chronic pain from their accidents in the form of terrible migraines, chest pains, neck aches or more. Even if a TBI survivor appears to be fine, keep in mind that they’re dealing with more discomfort than you probably realize.

Surviving and Living With a TBI Is Fatiguing

The pain, difficulty thinking, and physical struggles that accompany a traumatic brain injury often leave survivors feeling drained. Even when you’re frustrated and feel like the survivor isn’t helping you care for them, don’t mistake their fatigue for laziness. Try to remember that TBI survivors need more sleep than a normal person and that every day takes a heavy toll on their physical and mental energy levels.
If you are caring for someone with a TBI and need additional support, turn to TryMunity’s online community. The nonprofit organization can give you and your loved one access to a network of survivors and supporters, as well as important resources and words of encouragement.

What Is Recognized as an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?

How Does a Physician Test for TBI?Do you know what an acquired brain injury (ABI) is? Many people know what a TBI is, but not an ABI. And, most people aren’t aware of the differences between the two. In truth, these are both complex, wide-ranging injuries. Here at TryMunity, we’ve decided it would be helpful to describe, in depth, what an acquired brain injury is. We’ve provided a definitions of acquired brain injuries below, as well as their key characteristics. Check it out below!

An acquired brain injury is a brain injury that has occurred after birth, but is not directly linked to any kind of congenital defect. Various causes of an ABI include (but are not limited to): infection, strokes, substance abuse, trauma, and hypoxia. ABI’s can cause severe cognitive, physical, and behavioral dysfunction in the afflicted individual.

ABI’s can result in various cognitive, physical, and emotional changes. A person with an acquired brain injury may have problems with walking, sitting, and regular household tasks; he or she might also take more time than is considered normal to process information. A person with an ABI may also experience a mood disorder, more irritability than normal, and emotional or behavioral outburst. All of these and more are very typical reactions.

 

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

Do you have further questions about how to recognize an acquired brain injury? 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.

What is an Acquired Brain Injury?

Avoid Summer InjuriesAre you unsure of the difference between a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and an acquired brain injury (ABI)? If so, you’re not alone! Most people aren’t aware of the differences between the two. In truth, these are both complex, wide-ranging injuries. Here at TryMunity, we’ve decided it would be helpful to describe, in depth, what an acquired brain injury is. We’ve provided a definitions of acquired brain injuries below, as well as their key characteristics.

An acquired brain injury is a brain injury that has occurred after birth, but is not directly linked to any kind of congenital defect. Various causes of an ABI include (but are not limited to): infection, strokes, substance abuse, trauma, and hypoxia. ABI’s can cause severe cognitive, physical, and behavioral dysfunction in the afflicted individual.

ABI’s can result in various cognitive, physical, and emotional changes. A person with an acquired brain injury may have problems with walking, sitting, and regular household tasks; he or she might also take more time than is considered normal to process information. A person with an ABI may also experience a mood disorder, more irritability than normal, and emotional or behavioral outburst. All of these and more are very typical reactions.

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

Do you have further questions about what an acquired brain injury is? 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. We look forward to speaking with you!

What is an Acquired Brain Injury?

brain injury supportThere are two conversations happening simultaneously in the brain injury community. The first and foremost conversation is obviously that of a traumatic brain injury. Mothers, fathers, siblings, and children are discussing what constitutes a TBI. However, the second dialogue is that of an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury). As these two injuries differ, we hope to clarify. Since TryMunity aims to be resource, we’ll present both types of injury – allowing you to determine which one you’ve suffered.

An Acquired Brain Injury is…

An acquired brain injury is the scenario in which your brain injury was not caused by a traumatic event. Experts often consider a huge difference between the two types of brain injuries because traumatic generally means the effect of trauma, where as acquired generally means brought on gradually. Some illnesses that can lead to an ABI include: stroke, loss of air to the brain, and other cerebral vascular accidents. Some accidents that can lead to a traumatic injury include external forces, such as a car crash, a gunshot to the body, or a traumatic fall. The fact of the matter is, an acquired brain injury is no less severe than a traumatic one. They both change lives, and they both deserve ample attention and research. They are just brought on by different catalysts.

ABI vs. TBI?

Some debates exist between ABIs and TBIs. It is often thought that the TBI can actually fall within the ABI category, but again, research doesn’t point that in any direction one way or another. Our suggestion for the debate is that it be done with. We suggest that all victims of brain injuries deserve care and proper support, and it doesn’t matter “how” the injury was brought on. Instead, the injury exists. That’s one of our philosophies: if the injury exists, we’re here to help you get through it.

TryMunity isn’t about division of injuries or weighing the severity of them, we are about connection and pushing forward the knowledge of brain injuries. Advocacy can only leap forward when we all work together. To join the TryMunity community visit us at community.trymunity.com.