How can brain trauma affect someone?
Sadly, brain trauma can affect different people in myriad ways and no two TBI cases are the same. A traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Some symptoms may appear immediately after the event, while others may appear hours, days or even weeks later.
After a minor accident, there might not be any clear signs of brain trauma. Initially, you might feel dizzy, nauseous, confused or sensitive to light. But some tell-tale symptoms could start to appear in the hours and days after a blow to the head that will need medical attention as soon as possible.The NHS offers a guide of what to look out for.
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of a mild injury, as well as a loss of consciousness, repeated vomiting or nausea, seizures, a loss of coordination, weakness or numbness in the extremities, and an inability to awake from sleep.
It's also important to note that the effects of brain trauma aren't always physical. Several cognitive and mental symptoms could suggest a more traumatic brain injury, including confusion, agitation or other unusual behaviour, slurred speech or a coma.
By getting medical attention quickly, you can give yourself the best chance of speeding up the traumatic brain injury recovery process. Headway, the brain injury association and an organisation that we work with, says most people who sustain a minor head injury can start to be symptom-free within two weeks.
What is the traumatic brain injury recovery process?
Of course, the traumatic brain injury recovery process is always dependent on how serious the injury is. Each injury is as different and unique as the person who suffers it. For mild traumatic brain injuries, the recovery time can be relatively quick and the effects short-lived.
But our experience supporting brain injury compensation claims means we also know how much longer the severe traumatic brain injury recovery process can take. Even then, the effect of moderate or serious brain trauma can be permanent and life-changing.
The process of recovery may involve treatment for physical injuries, as well as occupational therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy to help an individual – and their loved ones – overcome, or adjust to, the impact of brain trauma.
How can rehabilitation help the recovery process?
The brain is a highly complex organ and to this day we are still learning and understanding how it works. As a result of this, rehabilitation after a brain injury is largely unpredictable as every injury is unique.
Unlike most cells of the body, brain cells don't regenerate when they are destroyed. However, this does not mean that no recovery can occur. Rehabilitation aims to help the brain learn alternative ways of working to minimise the long-term impact of the injury. It also helps the survivor and the family cope successfully with any remaining disabilities.