Everyone has had to suffer through a headache, or the chickenpox, or a scuffed knee or a broken bone or two. We take a few days or weeks off work, we sleep it off, we carry on. However, some injuries are not so simple to shake off our backs.
If you are affected by a brain injury, sometimes it is not simply a matter of dusting yourself off and moving on. Brian injuries can have a huge effect on your life, so it is important that you know how to get the help you need to get your life back on track. We’ve put together a short list concerning the 3 main types of Brain Injury, what symptoms you should look for and what support is out there in the event that you fall victim to one of these injuries. Help is available, but it is essential that you know where to look for it.
1. Traumatic Brain Injury
While strokes are incredibly common and can even be fatal in certain circumstances, suffering from a traumatic brain injury can have the most long-term effects on your life and wellbeing. A traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain caused by trauma to the head, through an accident or incident such as traffic accidents, falls, assault and accidents at home or at work. Loss of consciousness can be anywhere between 15 minutes and six hours, with anything beyond that treated as a severe head injury. Because of the intense level of trauma the brain has experienced, it can affect a lot of aspects in your day-to-day life. Motor functions, memory, and even personality changes have been seen in people who have suffered some of the most severe cases.
If the incident that caused the accident was not your fault, you are entitled to claim for compensation. Professional support and assistance can be provided in order to help you get back on your feet and you may also receive compensation in order to modify certain aspects of your living space if you now need help getting around. Brain Injury Associations are there to help both you and your family cope with the incident, and they are also able to help provide you with therapy sessions and transport to and from those sessions. It is important that you reach out in order to gain access to the most up-to-date and professional help available.
2. Minor Head Injury/Concussion
It has likely happened to every one of us. We hit our head falling down, we misjudge the height of a low walkway, or we whack our heads getting into a car. We feel dizzy and sick for a while, or we are knocked unconscious for only a few seconds. This is known as a minor head injury or a concussion. While in many cases suffering from a concussion is not a serious issue, if you have prolonged symptoms of dizziness after the incident it is advisable to visit a doctor. Other symptoms you may want to monitor include bleeding from one or both of your ears, clear fluid coming out of your ears or nose, new deafness, loss of balance, vomiting and sudden drowsiness at times when you would normally be awake.
Support for concussions and minor head injuries can be found on the Brain Injury Group Website, although asking for recommendations from your local healthcare professional is also a good idea. They will be able to prescribe you with any painkillers that might help alleviate any symptoms you are having.
A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to an area of the brain is interrupted either by a blood clot or a bleed. As the brain is starved of oxygen, the starved cells start to die, resulting in the brain injury; a stroke. Strokes are the third most common cause of death in the UK and this can be because of high cholesterol, as the blood is more likely to clot in those situations.
Depending on the percentage of the brain affected by the stroke, the symptoms can vary slightly. One quick way of telling whether or not someone close to you may be having a stroke is to do the FAST test. F – Face; can they smile properly? Has their face fallen on one side? A – Arms; can they raise both arms and keep them there? S – Speech; can the person speak clearly, is their speech slurred in any way? T – Time; now is the time to call 999 to get them the proper help.
Following a stroke, you can seek professional assistance from a number of charities including the Stroke Association and Headway; who deal with a number of different brain injuries. Having a stroke initially also increases your chances of having another one, so it is important that you take care of your health from here on in.
If you are beginning to suspect that you, a friend or a close family member has suffered a brain injury recently, you should always book an appointment with your local doctor to make sure that it is not a more serious matter. Your doctor will be able to point you in the right direction with regards to further support, or they could alleviate any worries you have. Some injuries are easier to spot than others, so you have nothing to feel guilty about if you are coming forward with a false alarm. Being vigilant is better than being lax and letting a major illness slip through the cracks unattended.