Our brain is an organ that is well protected from most of the damages that can occur to it since it is located inside a bony skull. There are layers of membranes and fluids that act as shock absorbers and provide extra protection to the brain. In spite of all this, the brain is still prone to injury under certain circumstances.
Once the brain is damaged, it will interfere with our thinking, movement and healthy life. Traumatic Brain Injury is one that affects the brain after a blow to the head.
Hurting the brain
The brain gets shaken with a hard blow to the head, this results in bruises, broken blood vessels and nerve damage. Though such injury does not cause an open wound in the skull, it is a closed brain injury. Similarly, an open brain injury is one where the head is penetrated by an object, causing an opening into the brain.
Mild and severe injury
A brain injury or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can be mild or severe. A concussion is a mild TBI, and an injury which can knock a person unconscious is a severe TBI. A severe TBI can even lead to coma and death.
What is a concussion?
A hard hit to the head can happen in many situations, it could be a football tackle or a car accident. Such a blow can shake the brain back and forth inside the skull and cause injury. This kind of injury is called a concussion. Even though relatively a milder injury, it could cause permanent damage if proper medical care and rest are not administered to the patient.
Symptoms of concussion
Usually when concussion occurs the person will black-out, but in some cases nothing of that sort happens. Still the person may experience a variety of symptoms like headaches, dizziness, vomiting and have trouble thinking clearly.
What is a brain injury?
When the head injury is severe, it can crack open the skull. This is called a skull fracture and the fractured pieces will then injure the brain. The pieces will pierce the delicate tissues of the brain and cause excessive bleeding. Clear fluid is seen draining from the nose or ears.
A bleeding brain
Sometimes a brain injury will lead to blood pooling inside the brain cells and causing a bump, this is called as hematoma. This can cut off blood flow to the brain. The symptoms of hematoma include dizziness, headache and vomiting. This causes a medical emergency.
Issues of brain injury
Memory loss is a significant issue, mainly when the damage is to that part of the brain which stores and retrieves memories. A brain injury can also affect that part of the brain that helps in balance and walking. It can also affect the ability of the brain to see clearly and gauge distance and depth. A brain injury will also cause health issues like depression, lingering sadness and sleeplessness. Mood swings, anger and anxiety are all part of the effects of a brain injury.
Treatment and recovery
When mild injuries like concussion occur, the best treatment is to give the brain enough rest and a chance to heal on its own. For severe injuries a patient may require emergency surgery along with best of rehabilitation. Physical, occupational and speech therapy can restore physical and mental health while lessening side effects.