March is Brain Injury Awareness Month


08 Mar
08Mar

Brain injury is unpredictable, and can affect how we think, act and feel.  The effects also vary greatly from person to person depending on many factors like age, overall health before the injury and underlying brain conditions or mental conditions.  The purpose of Brain Injury Awareness Month is to raise awareness, educate and destigmatize brain injury.  

Here are some quick facts:

There are 2 types of brain injury: Traumatic and Non-Traumatic

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. Traumatic impact injuries can be defined as closed (or non-penetrating) or open (penetrating).

Often referred to as an acquired brain injury, a non-traumatic brain injury causes damage to the brain by internal factors, such as a lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, pressure from a tumor, etc.

Source: Brain Injury Association of America

Symptoms of Brain Injury include:

  • Spinal fluid (thin, clear liquid) coming out of the ears or nose
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Dilated (the black center of the eye is large and does not get smaller in light) or unequal size of pupils
  • Vision changes (blurred vision or seeing double, not able to tolerate bright light, loss of eye movement, blindness)
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Respiratory failure (difficulty breathing)
  • Coma (not alert and unable to respond to others) or semi-comatose state
  • Paralysis, or difficulty moving body parts
  • Weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Slow pulse
  • Slow breathing rate, with an increase in blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or changes in ability to hear
  • Difficulty with thinking skills (difficulty “thinking straight”, memory problems, poor judgment, poor attention span, a slowed thought processing speed)
  • Inappropriate emotional responses (irritability, easily frustrated, inappropriate crying or laughing)
  • Difficulty speaking (slurred speech, difficulty swallowing)
  • Body numbness or tingling
  • Loss of bowel control or bladder control

If you experience any kind of head trauma and suspect a concussion or brain injury, call 911 and seek medical assistance immediately.  

Recovering From Brain Injury

There is no one treatment for brain injury because it is a complex process.  It could involve hospitalization and rehabilitation, or it could involve medication and skilled nursing.  

Concussion 

Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury and are common, mostly due to participation in sports like football and soccer.  There are 3 degrees: mild, moderate and severe.  

In a grade 1 concussion, symptoms last for less than 15 minutes. There is no loss of consciousness.

With a grade 2 concussion, there is no loss of consciousness but symptoms last longer than 15 minutes.

In a grade 3 concussion, the person loses consciousness, sometimes just for a few seconds.

The symptoms can include:

  • confusion or feeling dazed
  • clumsiness
  • slurred speech
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache
  • balance problems or dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • sensitivity to light
  • sensitivity to noise
  • sluggishness
  • ringing in ears
  • behavior or personality changes
  • concentration difficulties
  • memory loss

Most of us fully recover from concussions with few lingering symptoms, but it is important not to re-injure your head while healing from a concussion.  

CTE

Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking conditions that arises from head injury is Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. Symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. Symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries.


Source: Wikipedia

NeurOptimal and Head Injury

NeurOptimal can be an important intervention in the healing of all types of brain injury.  Preliminary research into the usefulness of NeurOptimal in the recovery from traumatic brain injury is extremely promising.  By almost every measure, outcomes improved siginificantly with NO use in as few as 10 sessions.  Not only were there gains in cognitive function, but sleep and mood all improved.  If you would like to discuss more about the research, please contact us.  

For those who have experienced concussion, even some time ago , brain training may be able to help you return to more normal cognitive function, improve your sleep and experience gains in mood regulation.


*NeurOptimal is approved by the FDA as a wellness device and as such is not a medical treatment.  It cannot treat or cure any  medical condition or disease.  The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.


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